Meiji Shrine and Harajuku


Meiji Shrine and Harajuku

Thank you for joining our Tokyo Free Walking Tour in Harajuku area.
On the 21st of October, with sunny and occasionally cloudy skies, we welcomed 8 guests, people from the U.S.A., Singapore, Canada, Australia, Belgium and Japan, to our walking tour.

We started the 90-minute tour in front of the torii or shrine gate of the Meiji Shinto Shrine, and concluded it at the Omote Sando Avenue.

Going through the torii, with brisk footsteps that sound like “zaku zaku”, we proceeded to the shrine’s main building which is nestled in the center of the evergreen forest.
This sound, “zaku zaku” is an onomatopoeia giving life to the vibrations made by visitors stepping on the gravel that serves as pathways in the religious compound.
Strolling on the grounds of the Meiji Shinto Shrine is one of the most extraordinary experiences that people can do to escape the highly urbanized area of Tokyo.

When it comes to the historical background of the Meiji Shinto Shrine, our guides show the pictures of the Meiji Emperor.
This is because this place is dedicated to commemorating the soul of the Emperor and Empress, who ascended to the throne around the 1900s.
The spirit of the loyal couple resides in the shrine building, surrounding the center of the deep forest.
Interestingly, the picture of the Meiji Emperor has a resemblance with one of the notable Japanese movie actor named Kanjyuro Arashi also known as Arakan. He was active from 1903-1980 as a Kabuki actor and film star.

         Arakan          The Meiji Emperor 

Amazingly, he was the pioneer to perform the role of the Emperor in Japanese movies in 1957.
In Japan, the Emperors were seldom cast in movies. However, the president of the movie company personally convinced Arakan to play the role of the great Emperor Meiji.
This was because of his strong resemblance on the Emperor’s appearance and personality.
Consequently, this amazing promotion paved the way for this distinctive actor to be included in the great historical persons like the emperor or a general army in wartime history on Japanese screens.

(By Arac)