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Meiji Jingu

Magical Shinto Shrine surrounded by green nature in Tokyo

Japan, Tokyo
1-2 hours

Meiji Jingu is one of Tokyo's most significant and revered Shinto shrines, honoring Emperor Meiji and Empress Shoken, two influential figures in Japan's history. The shrine is surrounded by a serene and expansive forest known as Meiji Jingu Gyoen (Meiji Shrine Inner Garden). 

The grounds offer a peaceful escape from the bustling city, with walking paths, gardens, and forests. Especially if you are new to Japan, the Meiji Jingu offers you an opportunity to experience the tranquility of nature, learn about Japanese history and tradition, and participate in Shinto customs and rituals.

Within the shrine complex, visitors can explore the main shrine buildings, purification fountains, and a treasure museum displaying personal belongings of Emperor Meiji and Empress Shoken.

How to visit? 

Get off at the Harajuku subway station from where you can directly enter the shrine complex through a large wooden gate, called torii. Torii gates made of cypress wood as they enter the shrine's grounds, symbolizing the transition from the secular to the sacred.

You then need to walk a longer broad path, which is surrounded by forest, to the entrance of the shrine. 

History and Significance

Meiji Jingu was established in 1920 to honor Emperor Meiji (1852–1912) and Empress Shoken (1849–1914). Emperor Meiji played a crucial role in Japan's modernization during the Meiji Restoration, transitioning Japan into a more industrialized and unified nation.



If you want you can also write your prayers or wishes to the Gods on small wooden plaques at the shrine. They are called ema in Japanese and are used in Shinto religious practices. You will find a lot of emas displayed within the main shrine building. For a small amount of yen you can add your own ema