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Tour Report on 17 September 2017, The Very First Meiji Jingu and Harajuku Tour

Tour Report on 17 September 2017, The Very First Meiji Jingu and Harajuku Tour

That day was our first tour for the Meiji Jingu Shrine and Harajuku District course.

It was a heavy raining day with forecast of a typhoon coming. But surprisingly, we could meet 10 guests at the entrance Torii gate of Meiji Shrine. We were so glad because we thought no one would come because of the bad weather. They were from Columbia, Australia, USA and Canada.

First of all, what is Meiji Shrine? It is a memorial of late Meiji Emperor, who had been on the throne during Meiji Era (1868 to 1912), 3 generation in advance of current throne, great grand father of current Emperor, Akihito. It was Japan’s Reconstruction era from feudal period to Modern period. In this period, the Emperor’s residence was relocated from Kyoto to Tokyo. Meiji Emperor is known to be contributed to Japan’s modernization. His figure is depicted in Hollywood film “The Last Samurai” in which Tom Cruise played as US military official dispatched to Japan.

The shrine was established in 1920 to commemorate the late Emperor who died in 1912. The forest trees in the Shrine premise were all artificially planted, not wild plants.

After walking for half an hour from the entrance, we could reach the main Shrine facility. There, the guests could learn Japanese traditional manner and methods of praying. The shrine consists of 4 side surrounding walls. 3 of 4 sides have gates to get in and out. One side is shrine’s main building where offering box is placed and various ceremonies are held. Luckily, we could see traditional Japanese wedding ceremony held there.

After the Meiji Shrine, we took to the Harajuku district, a most fashionable and fancy quarter of the city. The sacred shrine with the forest and the amusement district are adjacent to each other. That may be a unique landscape for foreign visitors. We strolled from the Takeshita street in the district and found fancy shops and cafes. The final destination was Oriental Bazar (Souvenir Shop for foreigners) on Omote Sando Street, a big main street with line-up of trees on both sides which might look like Les Champs-Elysees in Paris.


This tour is currently non-regular basis so we haven’t yet decided when to hold the next time. Please check our website.  We are looking forward to meeting great people from the world again over there.