A visit to the Meiji Shrine


On my last day in Tokyo back in November I took a trip to the Meiji Shrine on an early Monday morning on what turned out to be a Thanksgiving celebration. The shrine was filled with people praying, as well as young couples with their wedding procession parading across the main square.

The place was also filled with scores of kids in kimonos, who were there for the Shichi-Go-San, a Japanese custom that has Japanese kids visit the shrine twice in their childhood: for boys at age 3 and 5, for girls at age 3 and 7. Full disclaimer: I got permission from the little girl’s mother to take her picture.

The Meiji Shrine is a shinto shrine located in Shibuya. It was built in honor of the deified spirits of Emperor Meiji and Empress Shōken, and was built on the location of a garden they had both loved to visit. The shrine was opened in 1926, then destroyed in the bombings of Tokyo during World War II, and only later rebuilt through a public fund-raising effort following the war.

I spent the morning walking through the park surrounding the shrine, coming in from the northwestern entrance and only visited the shrine itself at the end of my visit. I recommend enjoying the trip the same way!

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If you have time the Meiji Shrine should definitely be on your “must visit”-list for Tokyo!

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