Meiji Shrine and Harajuku

Super Cool Interaction! Tour Report: June 16th at Meiji Jingu and Harajuku Street

Meiji Shrine and Harajuku

Hey everyone! When you’re traveling abroad, the best way to truly experience a country is by chatting with the locals. So why not strike up a conversation with people in Japan?

“Oh, that sounds awesome! But this is my first time in Japan, and I don’t have any Japanese friends yet.”

No worries! We’re Tokyo Free Walking Tour (TFWT), a fun and friendly non-profit volunteer guide group. We love sharing cool facts about Japanese history and culture, and meeting people from all over the world. And guess what? Our tours are 100% free—no tips, no fees, just pure fun!

Our guides are a diverse bunch—office workers, freelancers, homemakers, retirees, you name it! Some have official tour guide licenses and speak excellent English, while others are just starting out and speak “Janglish” (Japanese English). The best part? We all love talking about Japanese culture and traditions with our international friends.

Today, we split into four groups. My group had a lovely mother and son from Australia, a friendly gentleman from Singapore, and three amazing local guides: two middle-aged guys and a wonderful woman. That’s right, three guests and three guides! We had a blast chatting and sharing stories throughout the tour.

First, we explored Meiji Jingu Shrine, one of the coolest Shinto shrines in Japan. We talked about Japanese Shintoism and ended our visit with a traditional greeting to the shrine’s deity. Today, we were lucky to catch a couple having a traditional Japanese wedding. It was such a special moment!

Here are some examples of our chats:

Is it okay to buy charms from different shrines? Won’t there be negative competition or effects?
What is the meaning of the umbrellas used in shrine wedding processions? What does the color red mean?
Does the bride’s hat at shrine weddings have any significance?
Does someone live inside the main shrine building?
Is the chrysanthemum crest that decorates the shrine building made of gold?
Is there a good ramen restaurant around here?

Next, we headed to Harajuku, a super trendy shopping district near the shrine. It’s like stepping into a different world—so much fun and fashion!

So, what are you waiting for? Come to Japan and join our Tokyo Free Walking Tour! We recommend booking in advance. Check out our tour schedule here:

Tokyo Free Walking Tour Schedule

Can’t wait to see you in Tokyo!
Posted by Masa Ito