Stop at the cleansing station where you can dip into a communal water tank and purify your hands and mouth before offering up a prayer at Tokyo’s most famous Shinto shrine. Then, you can write wishes on little pieces of paper and tie them onto the prayer wall. If you want to follow the traditions of the locals, toss some yen into the offering box, bow your head twice, clap twice, and bow once more.
The entrance to Meiji Shrine is serene and austere. The 40-foot-high gate at the entrance to the park is made from a 1,500 year old cypress tree. You will leave the sights and sounds of city life behind as you enter a tranquil forest of more than 100,000 trees that were planted when the shrine was being constructed. The Inner Garden on the south side of the shrine grounds is considered “A Spiritual Power Spot”. A museum on the grounds displays treasures and personal belongings of Emperor Meiji and his wife.
On Sunday mornings, you are likely to see a traditional wedding procession going through the courtyard. The bride will be dressed in a white kimono and hood and the groom in his formal black robe, walking together under a big red parasol, with Shinto priests leading the way and the rest of the wedding party trailing behind.