Shinto shrines hold a special importance in Japanese culture, and there are many of them in Tokyo.
One of the most important Shinto shrines is Meiji Shrine. Having been built in 1920, this is not the oldest Shinto shrine in Japan. It does not derive its importance from age, but from the spirits it is dedicated to.
Meiji Shrine honors the beloved Emperor Meiji and Empress Shoken.
The shrine’s entrance gates, called torii, are the largest in Japan. It’s a good thing they’re so big, because a million people come through these torii on New Year’s Day alone.
When you enter or exit through a torii, remember to bow to show respect.
It’s a good idea to research all the etiquette you should follow when visiting Shinto shrines. Inside the shrine, you can make a wish, buy charms for good luck or health, and enjoy the tranquility and beautiful scenery.
The forest on the grounds of the Meiji Shrine was planted specifically for this shrine. The shrine buildings are all built of Japanese cypress wood.
You’ll also want to spend time in the Gardens. In the summer, over a hundred species of iris bloom.
The Meiji Shrine is a place of beauty and peace, as well as unity for Tokyo and all of Japan -- it’s definitely something every visitor to Tokyo should experience.