Meiji Jingu in Shibuya, Tokyo

May 8th, 2013 · No Comments

Meiji Jingu (shrine) was not really a planned destination for us, but it was nearby, so we decided to check it out. I think this was the only shrine we visited on our trip to Japan. Senso-ji, Kiyomizu-dera, Kotoku-in, and Hase-dera were all temples. What’s the difference, you ask? Well, read up here to find out.

Meiji Jingu is located in the middle of Tokyo, but its in a huge (175 acre!), beautiful dense evergreen forest with walking paths. It was such a change, once you walked in the first torii!

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The main torii at the entrance to Meiji Jingu. A torii is a traditional Japanese gate most commonly found at th eentrance of or within a Shinto shrine.

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This was on a nearby sign in both Japanese and English -

Barrels of Sake Wrapped in Straw:

During the Meiji Era, Emperor Meiji, whose divine soul is enshrined here at Meiji Jingu, led the industrial growth and modernization of Japan by encouraging various industries and supporting technical development.

Due to their grace and virtue, Emperor Meiji and his consort, Empress Shoken, the beloved mother of our nation whose would is also enshrined here, are held in the highest esteem by the Japanese people.

These sake barrels are offered every year to the enshrined deities by members of the Meiji Jingu Zenkoku Shuzo Keishinkai (Meiji Jingu Nationwide Sake Brewers Association) including Kotokai, which has made offerings of sake for generations, as well as other sake brewers around Japan wishing to show their deep respect for the souls of Emperor Meiji and Empress Shoken.

In addition to stating our humble gratitude to all of the brewers who have so graciously donated their sake, we also pray for the continuous prosperity of the sake brewing industry and all the other industries maintaining Japan’s traditional culture.

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This was on a nearby sign in both Japanese and English -

Provenance of the Bourgogne Wine for Consecration at Meiji Jingu

By gaining the good and rejecting what is wrong,
It is our desire that we’ll compare favourably
With other lands abroad.
– Poem by Emperor Meiji

The Meiji period was an enlightened period during which a policy of “Japanese Spirit and Western Knowledge” was adopted, to learn from the best of Western culture and civilization while keeping Japan’s age-old spirited revered traditions. Emperor Meiji led the way in promoting modernization by embracing many features of western culture in his personal life, such as shearing his topknot and donning western attire, and in many other aspects of daily living. Among these departures, His Majesty set an example by taking western food and in particular by enjoying wine with it.

The barrels of wine to be consecrated at Meiji Jingu have been offered by the celebrated wineries of Bourgogne in France on the initiative of Mr. Yasuhiko Sata, Representative, House of Burgandy in Tokyo, Honorary Citizen of Bourgogne and owner of the Chateau de Chaillly Hotel-Golf. Profound gratitude is due to the winemakers who have so generously contributed to this precious gift to be consecrated here to the spirit of world peace and amity, with the earnest prayer that France and Japan will enjoy many more fruitful years of friendship.

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This was on a nearby sign in both Japanese and English -

Otorii (The Grand Shrine Gate)

This is the biggest wooden torii of the myojin style in Japan, rebuilt and dedicated by a pious benefactor on December 23, 1975, and modeled both in form and size exactly after the original built in 1920. The material wood used is “hinoki” (=Japan cypress) 1,500 years old from Mt. Tandai-san Taiwan.

Height: 12m
Diameter of each piller: 1.2m
Distance between the two pillers: 9.1m
Length of crosspiece: 17m
Length of undercrosspiece: 15.5m

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Walking up to the main shrine square entrance.

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The main shrine square. They don’t like you to take photos by the main building where people are praying and priests were present, so I was respectful and didn’t.

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