Meiji Jingu, a Shinto Wedding, and Shinkuju Goyen
guide and I visited the Meiji Jingu, a Shinto shrine in Tokyo, dedicated to the emperor
Meiji and his wife empress Shoken.
A photo of my guide, Mari. She is such a
nice person. I still think about her and miss hanging out with her. We sat down
to have a cup of coffee as she explained a few things.
The entrance has
an impressive torii gate. The entire place has a Zen atmosphere and is green
The grounds are breathtaking. When you walk in, you feel as
though you have stepped into a forest. The tall trees are donated by the
Japanese and outsiders.
Mari said that this is an important flower
competition among growers. A nearby sign read: These flowers are given by Chrysanthemum groups with a deep relationship with Meiji Jingu. The perennial plant has a
long tradition in Japan and is a flower of appreciation.
These are empty sake
barrels, kazaridaru, displayed as decoration by the entrance. They are offerings by sake makers with
their names printed on them. Donators also give full barrels as offerings so
that they may have a good harvest. The sake represents sharing of drink with
gods and there is a ritual connected with it. Once the sake is first offered to
the gods, then people can enjoy drinking it.
There are also donated wine
barrels. The sake and wine barrels are offerings to emperor Meiji and empress
Shoken who led the modernization of Japan.
During the important Hatsumode, the
first shrine visit of New Year, visitors are squashed like sardines.
saw a traditional shinto wedding at the adjacent Yoyogi park. I was so excited.
After that, we went to Shinkuju Goyen for a quick visit. Wish we had more time
This is the park where Tessa and Toshiro meet for the second time
in The American Outsider.