Spending Autumn in Japan – Meiji Shrine (Part 2)

Have you ever wonder how Japanese families spend their weekends? Visiting a shrine.  It’s more of a “walk in the park” feeling rather than being in a building.

If you do notice, it’s a big area. A VERY BIG area. Also known as Meiji Jingu, which stands for shrine in English, it’s located right next to Harujuku station. Just take a right turn at the main station’s exit and you’ll see it.

From young to old, everyone gets together for an outing. The thing that intrigues me was they’re all properly dressed. Men would wear suits, ladies in office attires and children in kimonos. And it’s a Sunday! We felt under-dressed for the occasion, as if we were wearing pyjamas for a wedding ceremony.

We’re wearing jeans and as you can see…people in suits everywhere! To be honest, the path towards the shrine is not entirely high heels-friendly. I’m not entirely sure how they do it, but Japanese ladies are able to sprint on heels or ride bicycles with them.

We caught up with someone wearing the same attire as us so we felt better, in a way. Peace and tranquility surrounded us as we head towards the shrine. The path was shaded with trees. A gentle breeze touching lightly on the surface of our face.  Adequate sunlight, just enough not to burn my skin. I’m pretty sure I’ll be screaming in agony if I’m walking this long path back home.

As we’re walking towards it, we came across big pillars as such. And yes, there’s still a long walk ahead.

Getting there! If you refer back to the first picture at the top, you’ll notice that the shrine is located right in the center of a forest reserve.

Finally, we’re here! It was a magnificent sight. A closer look reveals how solid and beautifully crafted these architectures were. Although I’ve read that Japanese houses aren’t the best out there. It crumbles too easily but I’m not sure how true that was.

And yes, the Japanese conducts wedding ceremony here too. The bridegroom and bride will parade, along with their family members behind them, around the open area right in front of the shrine before they proceed into it for prayers and blessings. It was a whole new experience for us since we’ve never seen a Japanese type of wedding.

And lastly, just before leave, you may want to make a little wish here. No. It’s not a well where you throw coins into but you’re allowed to hang cards with your personal prayers on them.

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