In-between Shibuya and Shinjuku Stations is the Meiji Shrine that is dedicated to the first emperor of modern Japan. Located inside a forest of about 100,000 trees, the Meiji Shrine feels a world away from the bustle of the city surrounding it and Meiji is a great place to visit if you feel like you need a break from the rest of Tokyo. Though the original shrine was destroyed in World War 2 it was quickly rebuilt afterwards and today is one of Tokyo’s most popular attractions.
I entered the forest from the southern entrance (near Harajuku) and from there followed the main path to the shrine complex. Along the way I passed some large ceremonial sake barrels. When I got to the main hall it was covered over for restoration work but the massive tarp had a life-sized image of the shrine on it so I could still see what the building looked like. I read online that the restoration work is due to be finished this month so when I’m back in Tokyo this year I’ll hopefully get to see the uncovered building.