travels: tokyo – meiji jingu
After a feast of Katsu on our first day in Tokyo, we slowly strolled up the busy street that lead to the Meiji Jingu. In a bustling intersection, one of the only indications that such an important place in Japanese spiritual history stood nearby was the name of the bridge, carved in stone. As we walk up the tree-lined path to the temple, we soon were immersed under a canopy of majestic trees as the city quickly disappeared.
The only hint of modern Tokyo were some vendors preparing for the emperor’s birthday celebration, two days away. After several minutes, we came upon a wall of bright colored sake drums. Barrels of sake are offered every year to the enshrined deity by members of Meiji Jingu Zenkoku Shuzo Keishinkai–Meiji Jingu Nationwide Sake Brewers Association, and other sake brewers around Japan wishing to show their deep respect for the souls of Emperor Meiji and Empress Shoken.
Passing through several towering gateways, we finally arrived at the temple grounds, a truly peaceful, Zen environment for praying and paying respect to the Meiji royalty. On the tranquil grounds, we came upon a traditional Japanese wedding, which enhanced this glimpse into old world Japan.