Walking north from Shibuya, I eventually reached the southeastern entrance of Tokyo’s Meiji Shrine. This is the most popular entry point for the shrine, partly because it is conveniently next to Harajuku Station, and consequently there are normally a lot of people standing by the big torii gate. After passing through the gate I joined the stream of visitors walking the path that led towards the shrine’s central complex. There are about 100,000 trees covering the grounds at Meiji Shrine and even with all the other tourists there was still something strangely peaceful about this walk in the woods. About halfway along the trail I passed by sets of ceremonial sake and wine barrels.
When I reached the main shrine buildings I found that most of the restoration work that had been going on during my September visit had been finished (for the details of my September visit please see the post found here). Photography of the interior of the main hall was still prohibited but I could now see all the way to the rear of it. The rest of the area around the shrine’s inner courtyard looked much the same, and after taking a break on one of the benches around the edge of the courtyard I spent a few minutes looking around. One thing that caught my attention was the prayer rope connecting two of the trees to the left of the main hall, which I had somehow never noticed previously. It’s impressive that this shrine, which honors the first emperor of modern Japan, manages to mask the fact that it’s in the middle of a massive metropolis. It’s one of my favorite spots in the Tokyo and I imagine I’ll revisit it every time I’m in the city.