The densely forested grounds of Meiji Jingu occupy a large swath of land bisecting Shinjuku and Shibuya. A walking path cuts through the trees, leading to the shrine in the center. Walking along this misty trail will make you forget you’re in the middle of two of Tokyo’s busiest districts.
In addition to being one of the best walks in the city, Meiji Jingu is also a holy place for adherents of Japan's Shinto religion. During the New Year’s holiday, some three million people pay visit to the central offering hall for the Hatsumode (first shrine visit) custom. On weekends, you may also catch sight of a marriage procession, characterized by a bride wearing an immaculate white hooded kimono, and her groom in traditional black robes.
Meiji Jingu honors Emperor Meiji and Empress Shokan, who reigned as Japan went through a period of rapid modernization starting in the second half of the 19th century. Initially built in 1920, firebombing during WWII destroyed the shrine. The grounds and shrine were rebuilt in 1958, with approximately 170,000 trees donated from across Japan. Presently, Meiji Jingu consists of the main hall, a treasure museum (presently under renovation), and an inner garden area.
After your visit to Meiji Jingu, enjoy a stroll around the adjacent Yoyogi Park followed by shopping and food in the surrounding neighborhoods, which include Harajuku, Omotesando, Shibuya and Shinjuku.
NOTE ON CONSTRUCTION
100th anniversary in 2020. Renovation on exterior until October 2019; Treasure House is closed.