There”s a large shrine in Harajuku that is dedicated to the Emperor Meiji and his Empress. We tried 3 different times before we actually made it to the shrine itself (distractions are aplenty in Harajuku), but when we actually made it, we were enthralled by the gardens-no gorgeous flowers blooming because it’s actually autumn/winter here, not like our pretend autumn/winter back home, but huge lovely trees and nature abounding. In fact I took so many pictures in the gardens that my camera was out of juice by the time we got to the shrine itself so I had to make do with the camera on my phone. But the shrine is lovely too. Z was enthralled with the ginormous drum within the shrine, and while we kept hearing it be struck we were never in the right place to see who was doing it or why.
These pictures come from a couple of different visits there:
This is the torii gate at the entrance to the shrine area.
The girls being crazy on a bridge.
A very dapper young gentleman. We don’t know him, but I couldn’t resist snapping a pic.
Casks of wine offered to the spirits of the Emperor and the Empress.
Flowers for the same reason.
Gorgeousness of the gardens.
A tea house commissioned by the Empress.
The Empress’ fishing spot. Really.
Taking a little rest.
The girls called this a “tiki hut” and were utterly delighted by its existence.
The torii gate into the shrine itself. It’s the largest torii gate in…. somewhere. Tokyo? Japan? I don’t know. I read these things and then I forget.
The gate into the shrine.
The shrine. You’re not allowed to take pictures inside.
The shrine was really busy the day we were there; we saw a couple of newly married couples, as well as adorable kids in kimonos who had come to be blessed. (There’s a festival going on right now called the 3-5-7 festival, and kids of those ages can go to the shrines to be blessed.) Unfortunately it was really hard to get good pictures, so you don’t get to see any. 🙂