If you follow me on Instagram, you may have seen that I was in Tokyo at the beginning of September. This was my second visit to this wonderful city and I was excited to explore areas that I hadn't seen the first time around.
One of the places I visited was Tokyo's most famous Shinto shrine, Meiji Shrine. Ito Chuta, who is one of the most famous architects in Japanese history, designed the shrine which was then constructed in the early 19th history and was dedicated to the Emperor Meiji and his wife, Empress Shoken. Unfortunately, the original structure was destroyed during the Tokyo Air Raids of World War II and had to be rebuilt in the 1950s.
Built on nearly 200 acres of evergreen forest, the shrine feels like a tranquil oasis worlds away from the frenetic energy of the city center, in spite of the fact that its only a few minutes walk to Harajuku. Tokyo's skyscrapers are hidden by the gargantuan trees lining the pathway to the inner precinct. Upon entering the main structure, visitors should stop for a dip at the cleansing station to purify themselves before making a prayer, which can be done by writing your wish on a piece of paper and attaching it to the prayer wall.
Meiji shrine is frequented by tourists and locals alike, making it an ideal place to observe the juxtaposition of old and new that is intrinsic to Tokyo. While taking in the beauty of the shrine, I witnessed a wedding procession with the bride and groom decorated in traditional garb. I would have loved to have taken photos but didn't want to intrude on their special day. Traditional weddings usually take place on Sundays so I was incredibly lucky to have seen one during my visit, as it was a Friday afternoon. I thoroughly enjoyed my visit to this beautiful place and hope you all have the opportunity to see it one day soon as well.
*All photos in this post were taken by the sweet and talented Lisa of Paint with Stars, you can see more of her work at www.paintwithstars.com . If you are looking for a photographer in the area, I highly recommend her. :)