Meiji Jingumae

Meiji Jingumae Station is located immediately adjacent to Harajuku Station in Harajuku district of Shibuya Ward. It lies on the Chiyoda subway line further down Omotesando on Meiji Dori.

Areas of interest:

Meiji Shrine

Located close to Meiji Jingumae Station, Meiji Shrine, or Meiji Jingu, is a Shinto Shrine dedicated to the souls of Emperor Meiji and his wife Empress Shoken. The Emperor and Empress died in 1912 and 1914 respectively, and the shrine was built to venerate them. This shrine was completed in 1958, as the original Meiji Jingu was destroyed in air raids during World War II.

The entrance to the shrine grounds has two 40-feet high torii (traditional Japanese gates) with 56 feet long crosspieces. These torii symbolize the separation of the outside secular world from the spiritual world inside the grounds. 

The shrine complex consists of:

  1. The Main Shrine Building : This consists of the Main Shrine built in the Nagerezukuri style of Japanese cypress from Kiso, which is considered the best lumber in Japan; the Noritoden , where words of praise are recited for the Emperor and Empress; Naihaiden , the Inner Shrine; Gehaiden , the Outer Shrine; Shinko , the Treasure House , which houses articles of the Emperor and Empress - including dresses and uniforms, portraits of the Emperor and Empress, and a horse-carriage; the Shinsenjo, the kitchen where food is prepared for offerings; and some office buildings.

     2.  Kaguraden (Hall of Shinto Music and Dance): This three storey building,     

        completed in 1993, was built to commemorate the 70 th anniversary of Meiji

        Shrine. Only one floor of this building, built in traditional architectural design, is

        above the ground, with two floors below ground level. There is a hall on the

        ground floor that can seat 800. Here traditional dance and music are offered to

        the deities.

     3.  The Meiji Jingu Sukeikai (Worshippers' Hall): Meiji Jingu Sukeikai was

        started in 1946 by people who were worried about the social and spiritual

        confusion after World War II. Ever since, the organization has worked for

        promoting social stability and offering spiritual guidance throughout the country.

        Its members believe in revering the deities and ancestors, respecting the

        Imperial Family, and promoting peace in the world. 

     4.   Shiseikan: This is a training hall for traditional Japanese martial arts.

        Courses and lectures are given here to both the young and the old in Kyudo

        (Japanese archery), Kendo (Japanese fencing), Aikido, and Judo.

     5.  Gyoen (the Inner Garden): This beautiful garden with a rural atmosphere   

        was often visited by Emperor Meiji and Empress Shoken, who appreciated its

        natural beauty. Most of the 120,000 trees of 365 different species in the garden

        were donated by the public when the shrine was built. Located in various parts

        of the garden are a tea house, a fishing spot, a bower, and an iris garden - all

        connected by winding paths. The Iris Garden was designed by Emperor Meiji

        himself for Empress Shoken who loved iris flowers. There are over 150 varieties

        of iris here, and a total of 1500 plants.

Meiji Shrine is one of the most popular shrines in Tokyo. Even on a normal weekend, it draws thousands of visitor, both for spiritual purposes as well as relaxation. At New Year' Eve and New Year's Day, the shrine is visited by over a million devotees who come to offer prayers and pay their respects.

Several festivals are held at Meiji Shrine during the year. The most popular of these are:

     1.  Autumn Grand Festival: The Annual Autumn Grand Festival takes place

          on November 3 to commemorate Emperor Meiji's birth date. Since 1946, the

            day is also celebrated as Culture Day as it was during Emperor Meiji's time that

          Japan began its modernization process. On this day, more than a million people

          visit the shrine to pay respects to the deities, and offer prayers to thank the

          spirits for their good lives and freedom. Several activities are organized for the

          day, including dance, music, and martial arts performances. Every year on this

          day, the Emperor sends an Imperial Messenger to Meiji Shrine with his

          offerings. Quite often, members of the Imperial Family also visit the Shrine to

          express their reverence for the enshrined deities.


    2.  Annual Spring Festival: The Annual Spring Festival is held during the

         first week of May to herald the coming of spring and good fortune. People come

         from all over to pray at the Shrine. Cultural shows are organized at the Shrine

         grounds, including traditional dance and music performances.

    3.  Hina Matsuri (Doll Festival): Celebrated each year on March 3, the Hina

         Matsuri is a doll festival for young girls. On this day, families wish their

         daughters a successful and happy life. Dolls are ornately decorated in

         court dress and displayed in houses. On Hina Matsuri parents bring their

         daughters to Meiji Shrine to pray for happiness in their lives. Decorated dolls

         are put on display on the Shrine grounds and an elaborate doll-floating

         ceremony is held. Hina Matsuri has its origins in a Chinese custom when bad

         fortune is transferred into dolls and then removed by abandoning them in rivers.

Togo Shrine

Five minutes walk from Meiji Jingumae Station is Togo Shrine, a shrine dedicated to Admiral Togo Heihachiro. Togo Heihachiro (1848-1934) was an admiral in the Imperial Navy. Also known as "Nelson of the East", Togo Heihachiro is revered as one of Japan's greatest naval heroes and is celebrated as a Shinto kami. A small museum and a bookshop dedicated to Togo Heihachiro are also located within the shrine grounds. Surrounding the shrine is a beautiful garden, which is a popular venue for traditional Japanese weddings.

The Togo Shrine Flea Market is held every Sunday in the Shrine gardens. This market is very popular in Tokyo, both as a place to wander and enjoy, as well as to hop and bargain. All sorts of things are sold in the many stalls of the market - from antiques and kimonos, to record players and wooden trunks.

Oriental Bazaar

Oriental Bazaar is Tokyo's best known and largest souvenir and crafts emporium. Located close to Meiji Jingumae Station, the Oriental Bazaar is also one of the most imaginatively laid out stores. It spans four floors and sells almost everything at reasonable prices - from woodblock prints, paper products, tableware, lamps, and dolls, to antique furniture, original kimonos and pearls. Oriental Bazaar is very popular with tourists looking for traditional Japanese souvenirs.


Back to Tokyo Area Train Guide
There are no Featured Hotels in the Meiji-Jingumae area that we represent
Meiji-Jingumae Area City Guide - Useful information on Tokyo shopping, restaurants, activities, things to do and more!
  Activities & Events   Banks   Medical Assistance   Nightlife   Restaurants     Shopping
The Tokyo Travel Information Experts!
Send an email to us at and we will answer any questions you may have about Tokyo.
All content and images copyright . No use of any content permitted without written authorization. Webmaster contact:
website by Rossetti International l photography by Jeff Laitila