Tokyo's Meiji Shrine is a highly esteemed and much visited Shinto temple that attracts a multitude of visitors both local and foreign; the compound is noted for its elegant harmoniously designed buildings. The shrine commemorates the spirits of Emperor Meiji and Empress Shoken, his consort which are considered to have been deified. The adjoining Yoyogi Park and the temple compound provide an expansive area of greenery in the midst of the crowded city. The extensive grounds of the shrine compound provide an ideal venue for a leisurely stroll along scenic walking trails.
Emperor Meiji has the distinction of being modern Japan's first emperor. Born in the year 1852, the monarch attained the throne at the height of the Meiji Restoration in 1867; in this turbulent period the emperor returned to power and the feudal area of Japan came to an end. During the subsequent phase, the Meiji Period the Japanese nation was westernized and modernized, and by the time of Emperor Meiji's demise in 1912 Japan was ready to take its place among the major powers of the world.
The Meiji Shrine was dedicated to the royal couple after its completion in 1920, eight years after the emperor's death. At the time of the Second World War the temple was devastated but was rebuilt soon after the end of hostilities.
The temple complex is reached through an immense ‘torii' gate (the presence of such a gate is customary in Shinto shrines). The visitor will notice the tranquillity of the ground, making a sharp contrast from the sights and sounds of the busy metropolis. Nestled amongst verdant surroundings, the shrine is without a doubt one of the most popular Shinto places of worship in Japan. At the time of the New Year, millions of the faithful congregate at the shrine, the highest number at any Japanese temple.
Typical Shinto activities are conducted at the temple including buying amulets and charms, making offerings and writing out desired wishes in the customary manner. Typical Shinto weddings are conducted at the site.
Those who seek a fine Tokyo hotel will be delighted by the Shangri-La Hotel, Tokyo. One of the elegant hotels in Tokyo, this establishment always satisfies the expectations of its guests.