There’s more to Tokyo than modern architecture, bullet trains, and popular culture. Scattered throughout the city are temples and shrines built in memory of those who have shaped the country’s history, such as that of Emperor Meiji, Emperor of Japan from 1867 to 1912. Meiji, whose name means “enlightened government,” united the country to topple the ruling dynasty and establish Japan as a powerful presence in the Pacific region.
Meiji’s death in 1912 saw the construction of Meiji Jingu, a Shinto shrine and iris garden in Tokyo built in honour of the emperor and his wife, Empress Shoken. Completed in 1926, the shrine was destroyed during World War II, yet was reconstructed in 1958 thanks to public financing and support. While Meiji Jingu is mainly a memorial to Emperor Meiji and his consort, Japanese citizens consider it as both a “spiritual home and a recreation area in the centre of Tokyo.”
Follow the life of the great emperor and his wife by exploring its inner and outer precincts: 'Jingu Naien' and 'Jingu Gaien'. The inner precinct is the site of the shrines and a treasure museum built in the Azekurazukuri style, housing articles that belonged to the emperor and the empress.
Step inside the Meiji Memorial Picture Gallery, where 80 murals depict significant events in the lives of the nobles. Nearby you'll find the National Stadium, the Chichibunomiya Football Stadium, and the Tokyo Metropolitan Gymnasium. There’s also a golf driving range, tennis club, swimming pool, and ice skating rink.
Located in the outer area is the 'Meiji Kinenkan', the Meiji Memorial Hall, featuring a spacious garden, historical building, ceremonial halls, and dining areas. Once the site of government meetings, the hall is now a popular venue for Shinto weddings.
The Meiji Jingu shrine is a destination not to miss on your Tokyo holiday.