Translated by Satomi Ohba
Meiji Shrine, Japan’s best known shrine. The most visited shrine for Hatsumode!
Written by Takuro Komatsuzaki
Meiji Shrine a large and broad shrine that stands next to Harajuku Station. This shrine is dedicated to the divine souls of Emperor Meiji and Empress Shoken, and has been a popular shrine among the Japanese for a long time.
Relaxing place for citizens
In Meiji Shrine, there is a thick forest of 100,000 donated trees of 365 kinds from all over Japan. The area totals up to 700,000 square-meters!
Mane people come not only to visit the shrine but to forget the noise and bustle of the city and relax by taking a walk in the forest.
There is a volunteer guide tour in English for foreigners that shows you around Meiji Shrine.
The most visited for Hatsumode!
In Japan there is a custom called “Hatsumode” which refers to one’s first visit to a shrine on January 1st of the New Year. There are shrines of various sizes in various places all over Japan, and a large number of Japanese go to Hatsumode.
Among them all, “Meiji Shrine” is visited the most by 3,130,000 people (in just the first three days of the New Year).
The people come in a stream after 12:00 midnight, and wait in line for hours under the cold winter sky to visit the shrine, which is an overwhelming sight!
It’s worth having a look if you’re at Tokyo in the New Year season!
Nearest Station:JR Harajuku Station