TOKYO – The Meiji Jingu Shinto Shrine is a place filled with serene energy.
Located in the middle of Tokyo is this 172-acre man-made forest, and within that is the renowned Meiji Jingu Shinto Shrine, a shrine made to honor the work and legacy of Emperor Meiji and Empress Shoken.
According to Meiji Jingu Shinto Shrine officials, the Shinto belief is the original “religion” of Japan, though there is no founder or holy book.
Shinto focuses on the values of being in harmony with nature and having a sincere heart, a concept called “Magokoro.”
These values are still seen and deeply rooted in the Japanese people’s way of life, according to shrine officials.
To get to the Meiji Jingu Shinto Shrine, visitors have to walk to the heart of the forest. Before entering the forest, many will take a bow as a sign of respect.
In Shinto, divine spirits or “Kami” thrive. The Kami enshrined at Meiji Jingu are the souls of the Emperor and Empress who left a legacy by building the foundation of modernizing Japan.
On the way to the shrine, visitors can see beautiful displays or offerings for the Kami and pray to the Kami for happiness and good marriage. Here, people place their hopes and wishes in the Kami’s spirits. It is common for people to place their hopes, wishes and prayers at the shrine in various forms.
The shrine is a very popular tourist site. People come from all over the world to visit this sacred place in the middle of Tokyo’s vibrant city scene.