I’ve been homesick lately, but strangely, not for my actual hometown of Calgary. Instead, I’ve been longing for some time spent in one of my second homes: Japan. I think it may just be itchy feet longing for someplace exotic.
To scratch that itch, I have just uploaded a gallery of photos of the Meiji Jingu Shrine in Tokyo. Surrounded by the modern weirdness and teen-oriented shopping of the Harajuku district, this temple is an oasis of traditional Japan.
The shrine is reached by walking a long, wide path through the perpetually-green Yoyogi park. Enormous torii gates signal your imminent arrival to the shrine but suggest a building far more grand than the austere and low shrine. These torii gates are absolutely huge and their scale suggests something equally large awaits.
Though this isn’t the case, the shrine isn’t a disappointment. Though it isn’t an old building, it successfully pretends to be. It was built with traditional techniques and materials that make it fit in with any of Japan’s ancient temples.
Being Tokyo, you can’t expect to find it vacant of visitors, but part of the charm lies in the people watching that can be done there. On weekends, the Meiji Shrine is a popular location for weddings and if you visit, you may be lucky to catch a glimpse of a couple in traditional dress tying the knot.