Meiji Shrine

Hands and mouth must be washed before entering

Today I visited the famous Meiji Shrine located in the heart of Tokyo on 175 acres of evergreen forests . The trees planted within the grounds of the shrine we all donated as a gift to the emperor. After the death of emperor Meiji in 1912, the Japanese Diet passed a resolution to commemorate his role in the Meiji Restoration. An iris garden in an area of Tokyo where Emperor Meiji and Empress Shōken had been known to visit was chosen as the building’s location. The shrine was completed in 1915. Before entering the shrine every visitor must wash his or her hands and mouth with water as a show of purity. Just after the entrance of the shrine are a series of sake barrels donated as a gift to the emperor. At the shrine I tossed a coin into a grate, clapped and then with my hands in a praying position asked for a specific blessing. This is the ritual performed by thousands of Japanese at this shrine everyday. Within the shrine complex there is a blessings screen holding plaques filled out by visitors in which they request blessings for their home, families, etc. The day was overcast and quite grey but I am attaching the pictures I was able to take during my visit.

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