WHAT ARE MEIJI SHRINE AND YOYOGI PARK FAMOUS FOR? HOW TO GET TO MEIJI SHRINE? IS MEIJI SHRINE WORTH A VISIT IN TOKYO?
The famous Meiji Jingu Shrine is one of the best things to see in Tokyo.
Located in the Harajuku district (one of the best districts to discover in Tokyo), right next to Yoyogi Park, the Meiji Jingu Shrine is the ideal destination for those who want to discover the more traditional and cultural side of Tokyo.
“MEIJI JINGU SHRINE – THE MOST IMPORTANT SHINTO SHRINE IN TOKYO“
If you are spending a few days in Tokyo, then Meiji Shrine IS A MUST! This is an incredible sit, so go and enjoy the calmness and the natural beauty of the place.
Built in 1926, Meiji Jingu Shrine is a Shinto shrine dedicated to the divine spirits of Emperor Meiji and his wife, Empress Shōken.
After the death of Emperor Meiji (the first emperor of the modern era of Japan), this shrine was built as a sign of respect and admiration for him.
The place chosen for the construction of the sanctuary was the old garden where the couple liked to walk.
Today, the shrine occupies more than 700,000 square meters and has around 120,000 trees, many of which were donated at the time by subjects from all over Japan who admired the shrine.
What to see at the Meiji Shrine and Yoyogi Park?
1. The WOODEN TORI, The highest in JAPAN!
To enter the park you will need to cross a beautiful wooden tori (here)! This marks the start of your visit.
Here it’s worth stopping for a minute to take photos. This is one of the most instagrammable spots at Yoyogi.
A little further into the park before entering the Meiji Jingu Shrine area, you will cross another wooden Tori (here). It is said to be the highest Tori in Japan!
2. CROSS Meiji Jingu Shinkyo (Sacred Bridge)
After passing through the first Tori, the next thing to see is the Sacred Bridge (here). This beautiful stone bridge is extremely scenic! If you happen to visit Tokyo during fall, you will be surrounded by colorful maple trees!
Another great spot to take photos!
3. Meiji Jingu Museum
On your right after the bridge, you can’t miss the nicely designed museum, blending perfectly with nature.
This is the Meiji Jingu Museum. Here you can learn more about the construction of the Shrine, the Emperor, and the history of Yoyogi Park. The museum is not big, but it gives you insightful information (even though, not everything is translated into English)…
4. ThE SAKE & WINE BARRELS
Next in your visit to Yoyogi and Meiji Shrine, are the Sake & Wine barrels! You can’t miss them.
On one side there is an Alley full of traditional Sake Barrels and on the other side an Alley full of Wine Barrels from the Burgundy region in France.
During his lifetime, Emperor Meiji always promoted modernization and actively adopted Western culture in various fields such as haircuts, Western clothing, and food (such as drinking Wine)
These wine barrels were donated by breweries in the Burgundy region of France at the request of Mr. Yasuhiko Sata, representative of the Burgundy Tokyo office, honorary citizen of Burgundy, and owner of the Chateau de Chailly Hotel. There are roughly 60 oak barrels.
5. Meiji Jingu Gyoen
For some reason, most tourists skip this part of the visit, as the entrance is not free… though very reasonable (500 yen).
Here, it is the magnificent gardens of Empress Shoken which extend over 700,000 m2. Meiji Emperor himself designed part of the garden such as the Iris Garden.
The garden consists of nearly 170,000 trees of 245 different species.
In this stunning park, you can observe an even more peaceful area within the Yoyogi Park and Meiji Shrine Area! An absolute must!
You can follow a well-marked trail. The entire visit takes about 45min and absolutely worth the entrance fee!
6. AND FINALLY THE BEAUTIFUL MEIJI SHRINE!
Remote in a forested landscape, the Meiji-Jingu is an important shrine of Shinto worship. It was built in 1920 as a tribute to Emperor Meiji and Shôken, his wife.
The Meiji Shrine is one of the best things to visit in Tokyo!
Inside the shrine are two trees, known as the husband and wife trees. They are huge and quite wonderful. Photos are not allowed of the actual shrine or the amulet selling areas, but you can take pictures in the courtyard.
Different buildings such as the Kaguraden (music and dance hall) make it up and will enchant you with their captivating charm.
We recommend sitting down in a corner of the courtyard and simply soaking in the atmosphere and energy of this place!
If you are lucky enough, you can even observe a Japanese Wedding Ceremony around the temple (not uncommon during weekends).
7. Lastly, visit the Treasures Museum
Continue your visit a little further and you will come across the Treasures Museum. It lives up to its name because inside you will find superb objects that belonged to the sovereign couple.
The Hall of Souvenirs is also worth spending a few minutes on, as it offers an astonishing range of typical products.
8. ONCE YOU ARE DONE, VISIT THE EXCITING HARAJUKU DISTRICT
Like we always say, Japan is full of contrast!
Here you can spend a few hours in such a serene and traditional part of Japan, and then cross the road and you are in Harajuku, Tokyo’s fashion mecca.
Harajuku is mainly known for its pedestrian shopping street: Takeshita-dori. This street is famous for Japanese teenage pop culture enthusiasts who display their eccentric fashion!
We recommend combining your visit to Yoyogi Park and Harajuku to save time during your trip to Tokyo, as it’s within walking distance.
How to get to Meiji Shrine and Yoyogi Park?
By train — JR Yamanote line, Harajuku station then 2 minutes on foot
By subway — Tokyo Metro Chiyoda or Fukutoshin Lines, Meiji-Jingumae Station (C03 or F15) then 3 minutes on foot
Destination accessible for free with the JR Pass which we highly recommend to buy when visiting Japan. Check out the price and different options here.