I sometimes do things that doesn’t involve eating. Though, I will admit, non-eating Tokyo activities were few and far between.
I did go make time to go see Meiji Jingū (on one of my last days in Tokyo before heading up to Mt. Fuji). Yup, priorities. I’d like to throw it out there that I tried a couple of days before but it was closed. So, 💁.
Also, since I’m being honest and all – I had no idea what this shrine was famous for. I just knew that it was a giant ass shrine in the midst of a giant ass forest in the middle of a giant ass city. #newslogan?
The forest is actually amazing. Meiji Jingu is a Shinto shrine that is dedicated to the divine souls of Emperor Meiji and his consort Empress Shoken. People donated 100,000 trees from all over Japan, and overseas 😱, to erect this forest. I can’t imagine the effort it took to ship trees way back in the 1910s.
Fun fact: Emperor Meiji had 5 concubines. Concubines were basically just fuck buddies that were treated real well (fast forward to present time…😒). In all seriousness though, Emperor Meiji pretty much laid the foundations for modern Japan: opening up Japan to the West, actively promoted friendship with other counties, preserving Japanese culture while pursuing western technology.
Fun Fact II: Meiji is the great grandfather of Japan’s current emperor. Fun Fact III: Emperor trumps king in my book, any day.
There’s a lot of etiquette revolved around the shrine visit – definitely worth reading up on if you don’t want to get in trouble (like me – I tried to bring my breakfast past the entrance gate – not cool).
Spent a solid few hours at the shrine. It was a super nice day so it’s just like a giant park to spend the morning. Have some coffee, learn about history, and just enjoy the sunshine – perfect vacation morning.
I was also able to catch a glimpse of a traditional shinto wedding procession! Underneath a big red parasol was a bride was in a white kimono and hood and a groom in a formal black robe. I wonder how much it costs to have your wedding there?