Photo Story: Meiji Jingu Shrine, Tokyo

Sake barrels offered i memory of Emperor Meiji and his consort
Sake barrels offered in memory of Emperor Meiji and his consort

The Meiji Jingu Shrine is a very sacred Shinto place in the  heart of Tokyo.

The Tori gate is a large wooden structure of two very think solid wood poles cut from single trees topped with wood cross-beams
Entry into the Meiji Jingu Shrine grounds is marked by the 12 meter high Tori (shrine gate) made of 1700 year old wood. To show respect you bow once on entering and again on leaving.
Trees in Yoyogi park
The Shrine is surrounded by a 100,00 evergreen trees. The trees were donated from across Japan when the shrine was established in 1920 to honour the souls of the Emperor Meiji and his consort Empress Shoken who were instrumental in opening Japan to the outside world.
French wine barrels at the Meiji Jingu Shrine, Tokyo. The Meiji Emperor particularly enjoyed wine with his meals. The barrels of wine were gifts to the Emperor from wineries in Bourgogne, France.
In addition to the traditional Sake barrels which are donated each year by sake brewers across the country for shrine ceremonies and festivals,  there are French wine barrels at the Meiji Jingu Shrine. The Meiji Emperor particularly enjoyed wine with his meals. The barrels of wine were gifts to the Emperor from wineries in Bourgogne, France.
Shinto purification trough, to clean your hands and mouth before entering the main area.
Shinto purification temizuya (font) at the Meiji Jingu Shrine, Tokyo.  The purification process involves: using the dipper rinse your left hand, rinse your right hand, pour water in your left hand to rinse your mouth (do not touch the dipper directly with your lips), rinse your left hand again, and finally rinse the dipper, letting the water run down it’s handle.
Main and offering hall
Main and offering hall, Meiji Jingu Shrine, Tokyo

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A wedding procession at the Meiji Jingu shrine
The  Meiji Jingu Shrine is a very popular place for traditional Shinto weddings.
The bride wears a traditional white kimono and hat
The bridal couple wearing traditional Shinto bridal costumes. The groom wears a hakama with a black kimono jacket with the family crest on each side of the upper front of the kimono. The bride wears a white kimono with long sleeves, white makeup and a traditional wig covered by a paper hat called a horn hider to conceal the horns of jealous demons.

colorful wedding party kimonos

A child hides his face in his mother's kimono bow

Ema visitors write their wishes on these wooden plates and then leave them at the shrine.
Ema (votive tablet) at the Meiji Jingu Shrine. Visitors write their wishes on these wooden plates and hang them on the divine tree.

yo-ema-sign

The park is kept clean by sweepers with traditional straw brooms

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