Meiji Jingu was built in 1920 to worship the Emperor in the Meiji period. It is a relatively new shrine in Japan and approximately 3 million people including foreigners visit there within three days of the New Year celebration. Since it is near Harajuku station, you can enjoy unique kawaii Japan and historical old Japan at the same time. Check out our recommended must-see and do spots around Meiji Jingu!
** Until March 31, 2021, you can also search for sculptures in Meiji Jingu from four well-known Japanese artists. Super fun for the entire family and highly recommend. TENKUKAIKATSU – MEIJI JINGU FOREST: OUTDOOR SCULPTURE EXHIBITION
Meiji Jingu Trivia – Meiji Shrine Trivia To Test and Impress Your Kids
Q1. Why and when was it built?
A1. In 1868, when the Edo period finally ended, Emperor in the Meiji period named Mutuhito started a new government. He made many laws and changed the Japanese government drastically. However, he died in 1912 and surprisingly his wife Haruko Ichijo became the leader of the Japanese government. She also contributed to Japan by making Japanese society less hard for Japanese women. When she died in 1914 after 2 years from Mutuhito’s death, people decided to make something that honor and worship both Mutuhito and Haruko. Therefore, people took permission from Emperor in the Taisho period and constructed Meiji Jingu.
How to enjoy Meiji Jingu
Meiji Jingu is a very sacred place and there are many places that release sacred power. You can also enjoy Japanese old history and culture as well. I have a list of places that you should go to.
South pathway to the shrine
The provenance of the Bourgogne wine and Barrels of Sake
Iris in Meiji Jingu
A worship hall
South pathway to the shrine
Q1. Where is the entrance of Meiji Jingu?
A1. There are few entrances in Meiji Jingu but I strongly recommend the South pathway.
The reason why I recommend the South pathway is because this pathway is surrounded by many different kinds of beautiful trees and this will guide you to the places that I have listed on the top. There is also a gateway to the shrine made with Japanese cypress which is 1500 year old. This gateway was the only one that did not get destroyed during WW2. You can feel great nature here.
2. Provenance of the Bourgogne wine and Barrels of Sake
Q. Why is there Wine and Sake?
It is because the Meiji period was the time that adopted Western Culture.
Emperor in the Meiji period led the way in promoting modernization by embracing many features of western culture such as hairstyle, food, and clothes On the other hand, he also wanted to keep Japan’s old-age spirit and respected Japanese tradition. These two types of alcohol represent how these two cultures made the Meiji period.
3. Kiyomasa’s well
Q. Why is Kiyomasa’s well so famous in Meiji Jingu
It is because this place actually has the strongest sacred power in Meiji Jingu.
This place is located inside of Meiji Imperial Garden and actually has the strongest sacred power in Meiji Jingu. This water is kept at 15° C (53°F) through the year and wells up to 60L (16gal) per minute. However, you have to be careful at the same time. This place has absorbed many people’s bad luck and therefore this place is also filled with bad luck. There is absolutely no problem when you visit there on a sunny day, but you should not when the weather is rainy or at night. You are going to be filled with bad luck.
4. Iris in Meiji Jingu
Q. When is the best time to see Iris
If you want to see Iris you should go during summer especially in the middle of June.
This Iris flowers in the Imperial Garden in Meiji Jingu. It is the most famous place to see Iris in Japan and it is really beautiful. You still have to pay 500 yen (kids 200 yen) for the imperial garden but inside there is a beautiful view of nature and it is definitely worth it. I recommend that you should go to see this iris in the middle of June because it is most of the iris in here comes out at that time.
5. Kakkun-Tei ( Former Tea House)
Q. Why does it look so new
Since it was burnt down by the war, in 1958 the present building was reconstructed
The former building of Kakkun-Tei was built by the order of the emperor in the Meiji period for his wife in 1990. However, it was destroyed during WW2 and it was reconstructed based on the part that was left.
6. A worship hall
Q. How do you pray in the worship hall
There are several steps in order to pray in the worship hall
You have purified your hand and mouth in Chozuya located in front of the worship hall
2. Throw money in the offertory box
3. Bow twice before you pray
4. Clap your hands twice
5. Pray by pressing your palms together.
6. Then bow one more time
You should definitely visit here if you are in Meiji Jingu. This sacred place releases strong nature power that has a healing effect on humans. Nevertheless, from June 23 2017 until autumn of 2019, they are reconstructing metal plates on the roof. Therefore, there is a sheet pasted outside of the worship and you have to be aware of that.
7. Meotokusu trees
Q. Where are Meotokusu trees located.
It is located near the worship hall.
Meotosuku is the two big sacred trees in Meiji Jingu. Because these big trees look like it is representing the married couple, it is said that it has the power of long-lasting marriage. You should definitely visit there with your wife or husband. Nevertheless, one little warning for you. You usually gain sacred power by touch an actual tree, but for Meotosuku you can not touch it.
8. Omikuji ( A fortune Slip)
Q. What is Omikuji
Omikuji is a Japanese random fortune slip that tells your fortune and gives advice for your future.
In order to have Omikuji, you have to shake a wooden box and remember the number that is on the stick inside the box. For normal Omikuji, the most blessing result is Daikichi, and the worst one is Kyo. On the other hand, omikuji in Meiji Jingu is a bit different but do not worry. There is an omikuji written in English.
9. Treasure Museum
Q. Where is Treasure Museum
It is located in the north part of Meiji Jingu.
Q. This place is a bit far from the other places, but it is worth going to. There is grass spreading in front of the treasure museum and it is a very good place to relax. You can even sleep or read books on the grass. This place is said that it has the power of providing a new perspective and tells you what is right or wrong. Therefore, I recommend for you to go to this place when you are struggling with something.
10. Turtle Stone
Q. What is a Turtle Stone?
It is a turtle-looking stone that is located in the grass in front of the treasure Museum.
There is a turtle-looking stone located in the grass in front of the Treasure Museum. Its funny appearance is very famous in Meiji Jingu. You should definitely take a picture of it.
Meiji Jingu Trivia
While you are in Meiji Jingu, you can share this trivia with your kids
Meiji Jingu used to be a wasteland
All the trees in Meiji Jingu were actually planted by the human in 1915. In 1915, the Japanese government asked for a tree donation. About 100,000 were donated not only from Japan but other countries like China. Right now there are 170,000 (246 types) trees.
2. Meiji Jingu has the biggest wooden gateway of a shrine.
This wooden gateway is the biggest wooden gateway with a length of 12m (39ft), width 17m (56ft), weight 13t （28660lb)
3. Marriage in Meiji Jingu
In 2016, about 2000 couples have had married in Meiji Jingu.
4. Meiji Jingu was burnt down during WW2
During WW2, most of the places in Meiji Jingu including the worship hall were burnt down. Therefore, they had a big reconstruction in 1958.
5. The gateway to the shrine in the south pathway survived during WW2.
Out of many gateways in Meiji Jingu, this gateway was the only one that survived during WW2. Others were reconstructed during 1958.
6. Imperial Garden in Meiji Jingu actually existed when Emperor was still alive.
This Imperial garden was used to be the garden of the Emperor in the Meiji period. Although some of them are made after his death, flowers like Iris and Azalea existed when he was alive.
7. Water in the vending machine in front of the treasure museum is more expensive than drinks like Coke and Coffee.
If you visit a treasure museum, you should check that out.
Meiji Jingu- the best place to learn Japanese culture and history
To understand and associate with Japanese culture, you should definitely visit Meiji Jingu. Meiji Jingu is one if the most famous shrine in Japan and it was built in 1920 to worship Emperor in Meiji period. It is relatively new shrine in Japan and approximately 3 million people including foreigners visit there within three days of new year celebration. Since it is near Harajuku station, you can enjoy unique kawaii Japan and historical old Japan at the same time.
Things to do
Meiji Jingu is a very sacred place. You can gain a lots of luck just by entering there. However, there are 5 places in Meiji Jingu that releases very strong sacred power.
This is the approach to the shrine surrounded by Japanese cypress which are 1500 year old. This place has strong power of matchmaking or constructing strong relationship with someone. You should visit there with your significant other.
Meotosuku are the two big sacred trees in Meiji Jingu. Because these big trees look like it is representing married couple, it is said that it has power of long lasting marriage. You should definitely visit there with your wife or husband. Nevertheless, one little warning for you. You usually gain sacred power by touch actual tree, but for Meotosuku you can not touch it.
This sacred place releases strong nature power that has healing effect on human. There are several sacred places in Tokyo that are similar to here but this place has stronger effects on human. This place also has power of psychocatharsis. You should visit here when you are depressed or stressing out with something.
I recommend for you to go to this place when you are struggling with something. This place leads you to a new perspective and tells you what is right or wrong. You can even sleep on the grass in front of 宝物殿 and gain power. In there, there is a stone called 亀石. This is another sacred object in Meiji Jingu. It is a turtle statue with funny looking face. You should take a picture of it.
This place actually has strongest sacred power in Meiji Jingu. However, you have to be careful at the same time. This place has absorbed many people’s bad luck and therefore this place is also filled with bad luck. There is absolutely no problem when you visit there on a sunny day, but you should not when the weather is rainy or at night. You are going to be filled with bad luck.
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