Visit to Meiji Jingu
We started out the second day in Harajuku to visit Meiji Shrine (明治神宮, Meiji Jingū).
The Meiji Temple, a Shinto shrine dedicated to the deified spirits of Emperor Meiji and wife, Empress Shoken.
It is about 3-5 minutes walk from Harajuku Station.
The shrine is not there the moment you see the signboard about the shrine. It is actually about another 10 minutes walk.
There is a very wide pathway, as wide as about 3 lane road, with forest lining both sides of the path, that leads you to the actual shrine.
The cooling morning, slow stroll along the green forest, listening to the rustling of the tree leaves just relaxes you.
This path seems to be preparing you to get into the moment before you reach the actual shrine.
Along the way, we see barrels of sake were stacked and placed. They were offered to the enshrined dieties by members of the Meiji Jingu Zenkoku Shuzo Keishinkai (Meiji Jingu Nationwide Sake Brewers Association) as a way of showing respectfor the souls of Emperor Meiji and wife, Empress Shoken.
An open courtyard just before the shrine itself dampens the crowdiness effect from the visitors.
While the rest of the travel companions meander around the area, I sat at in a corner of the courtyard just enjoying the quiet.
Ema, consecrated tablets for personal prayers and gratitude towards the dieties of the Meiji Jingu, to be written and hung around a tree. These Ema are offered and conveyed by the priests at Mikesai, the morning ceremony held everyday.
This stop at the shrine gives me a feeling of being refreshed mentally. The surroundings just makes me put off issues that clog your mind, enjoy the present, and let you get back to it right after that.