Right next door to the bustling streets of Harajuku is a beautiful place of tranquility and peacefulness. You wouldn’t expect such a beautiful forest in the middle of such a busy, bustling city, yet here is Yoyoji Park. Yoyogi Park (代々木公園, Yoyogi Kōen) is one of the largest city parks in Tokyo, and right in the middle you can find Meiji Shrine (明治神宮, Meiji Jingū).
The shrine was dedicated to the Emperor Meiji and the Empress Shoken in 1920, eight years after the passing of the Emperor and six years after the passing of the Empress. The Shrine was destroyed during World War II but was rebuilt shortly after. The entrance to the shrine grounds are marked by massive torii gates which wrap around the gardens and all the way to the shrine itself. They are breathtaking to see for the first time, and are set amongst the tall trees and beautiful greenery of the surrounding forest. When visiting the shrine, you can take part in typical Shinto activities such as making offerings at the main hall, buying charms and amulets or writing out a wish on an ema.
Meiji Shrine and Yoyoji Park are a 5 minute walk from Harajuku Station on the JR Yamanote Line. If you’re coming in on the subway jump of at Meiji-jungu-mae Station on the Chiyoda or Fukutoshin lines. The gardens are always open and are free to access. The shrine is open from sunrise to sunset everyday, with some of the more sacred areas having different opening and closing times.
1-1 Yoyogikamizonocho, Shibuya
Tokyo 151-8557, Japan