- Places to Explore
- Travel Tips
- Fodor's Choice
- Japanese Phrases
Meiji Shrine (Meiji Jingu)
Meiji Shrine (Meiji Jingu) Review
This shrine honors the spirits of Emperor Meiji, who died in 1912, and Empress Shoken. It was established by a resolution of the Imperial Diet the year after the Emperor's death to commemorate his role in ending the long isolation of Japan under the Tokugawa Shogunate and setting the country on the road to modernization. Virtually destroyed in an air raid in 1945, it was rebuilt in 1958.
A wonderful spot for photos, the mammoth entrance gates (torii), rising 40 feet high, are made from 1,700-year-old cypress trees from Mt. Ari in Taiwan; the crosspieces are 56 feet long. Torii are meant to symbolize the separation of the everyday secular world from the spiritual world of the Shinto shrine. The buildings in the shrine complex, with their curving, green, copper roofs, are also made of cypress wood. The surrounding gardens have some 100,000 flowering shrubs and trees.
An annual festival at the shrine takes place on November 3, Emperor Meiji's birthday, which is a national holiday. On the festival and New Year's Day, as many as 1 million people come to offer prayers and pay their respects. Several other festivals and ceremonial events are held here throughout the year; check by phone or on the shrine Web site to see what's scheduled during your visit. Even on a normal weekend the shrine draws thousands of visitors, but this seldom disturbs its mood of quiet serenity.
The peaceful Inner Garden (Jingu Nai-en), where the irises are in full bloom in the latter half of June, is on the left as you walk in from the main gates, before you reach the shrine. Beyond the shrine is the Treasure House, a repository for the personal effects and clothes of Emperor and Empress Meiji—perhaps of less interest to foreign visitors than to the Japanese.
- Address: 1–1 Kamizono-cho, Yoyogi Aoyama, Harajuku, and Shibuya, Tokyo, 151-8857 | Map It
- Phone: 03/3379–9222
- Cost: Shrine free, Inner Garden ¥500, Treasure House ¥500
- Hours: Shrine daily sunrise–sunset; Inner Garden Mar.–Nov., daily 9–4; Treasure House daily 10–4; closed 3rd Fri. of month
- Website: www.meijijingu.or.jp
- Subway: Chiyoda and Fukutoshin subway lines, Meiji-Jingu-mae Station; JR Yamanote line, Harajuku Station (Exit 2).
- Location: Aoyama, Harajuku, and Shibuya
- 80 Degrees: Fodor's Helps You Find Your Best Beach Vacation Spots
- Fodor's Go List 2014: Where we are going in 2014
- World Cup Fever: Start planning your trip to Brazil!
- Fodor's 100 Hotel Awards: Check out the winners of 2013
- Weekend Getaways: Fodor's Recommends the Best Weekend Escapes in the US
- Great American Vacation: Find Your Next U.S. Trip with Fodor's
Now that the flurry of November trip reports has come and gone (they were great!), I figure it’s time for one more, before the reports from spring cherry blossom-viewing visits start to come in. This Read more
After more than a month back from Japan, I’m happy to finally have a bit of a breather that allows me to start a trip report. Read more
I'm in the middle of planning my Japan trip (work is crazy, so haven't got too far with it yet)...it's still 4 weeks away, but would like to get my Yen sorted out well in advance, as I know Japa Read more
· News & Features
Tokyo and Kyoto offer more than enough to cater to travelers many interests, whether you're hitting the ... Read more
Japan offers enough ancient architecture, commanding temples, and uninterrupted nature to satisfy you... Read more
Japan is not only a land for all seasons, it's a destination for all travelers.... Read more