Peace and Tranquility at The Meiji-Jingu Shrine and Prancing Across Shibuya Crossing, Tokyo, Japan


We took in a number of sights in this wonderful city of Tokyo, Japan. Our first day of sightseeing led us to new attractions such as the peaceful Meiji – Jingu Shrine and calling on the world’s busiest scramble crossing at Shibuya Crossing. It was a day of contrasts from peace to activity that couldn’t have been any more compelling.

This post is one chapter on our second Round the World trip via Japan, the United Arab Emirates, Oman, and Poland. This trip was redeemed through Air Canada’s Aeroplan and through Starwood Preferred Guest (Marriott Bonvoy) loyalty programs. For more information on how this trip was booked, please see our trip introduction here. For other parts of the trip, please see this index.

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City Visit: Peace and Tranquility at Meiji Jingu Shrine and Prancing Across Shibuya Crossing, Tokyo, Japan

This post reflects our visit to the Meiji Jingu Shrine and Shibuya Crossing. We also visited the Imperial Palace and the streets of Akihabara, the Tsujiki Fish Market and Shopping in Ginza, and spotted Cherry blossoms in Shinjuku-Gyoen (Shinjuku Park).

We had 4 days in Tokyo on this visit. It was my fourth visit to the city over a twenty-year period and MrsWT73 first visit. Everytime I’ve visited, there has always been something new to discover. Tokyo is a truly wonderful world class city to visit, and I always look forward to any return visits.

Getting to Meiji Jingu Shinto Shrine:

From the Westin Tokyo, we ended up taking the train to Harajuku station. We walked the rest of the way to the park.

Meiju – Jingu Shinto Shrine:

We started off sightseeing at the Meiji-Jingu shrine, which is a lovely park in the middle of Tokyo.

Meiji Shrine is located in a forest area that covers an area of 70 hectares (170 acres). The park area is covered by an evergreen forest that consists of 120,000 trees consisting of 365 different species. The trees were all donated by people from all parts of Japan. The entrances open at sunrise and close at sunset.

Once of the nicest features of the Meiji Jingu Park are the excellent torii gates that mark the park. The Torii gates are traditional gates that usually mark the entries to Shinto shrines, where it symbolically marks the transition from the mundane to the sacred. The Torii amongst the green trees make for a restful place within Tokyo.

Meiji Jingu Torii
Torii gates at Meiji Jingu

After passing through the Tori Gates, we arrived to the main Shrine Gates. There’s certainly elegant history in these structures leading to peace and serenity.

Beautiful Structures
Meiji Jingu Gates
Gates by the Central Sanctuary

We took a light examination of the prayers left by visitors. The prayers are a wonderful feature of Japanese Temples.

Prayers Left by Visitors
Prayers by Visitors

We were able to catch the start of a religious ceremony here with the entrances punctuated by beautiful toji shrines. 

Catching a Religious Ceremony
Marching under Torii Shrines

I enjoyed our peaceful visit to the Meiji Jingu Shrine. It’s unusual to have such a wonderful park in the middle of an urban metropolis of Tokyo.

Walking to Shibuya Crossing:

We left the Meiji Jingu Shrine and walked to Shibuya Crossing. We took a bit of a round about route, to take in the Omote – Santo shopping area.

It was a pleasant walk down Omote – Sando- the new Champs Elysees of Tokyo (less the exotic cafes), eventually wandering our way towards Shibuya.

Walking Omote – Sando with beautiful trees
Tree Lined Streets

We picked up on a little of the local transportation lifestyle on our walk. It’s something you only see in Asia. We also picked up on the ever presence of Japan’s vending machines, which are among the highest machine per person per capita in the world. With over five million vending machines, there are one for every twenty three people.

Local Transportation Networks
There are over five million vending machines in Japan-

Shibuya Crossing:

We eventually made it to Shibuya Crossing. The Shibuya Crossing is a scramble crossing that is likely one of the busiest intersections in the world with up to three thousand crossing at every cycle. The advertising and location of it has led to comparisons with Times Square of New York or Piccadilly Circus of London. It has been features in many interntaional movies, including the ever popular Lost in Translation, The Fast and Furious Tokyo Drift, and many international and domestic newscasts.

Shibuya Crossing
Amid the Masses at the Worlds Largest Scramble Crossing

I climbed up to the second floor Starbucks to take some scramble photography. The Starbucks is among the busiest in the world. It has great people watching of the scramble crossing from its windows.

Shibuya Crossing – Scramble Style
Shibuya Crossing

After we fully took in the Shibuya Crossing, it was time for some local shopping in the district as we wandered our way down to Shinjuku

Shopping in Japan
Local Restaurants
Street Scenes in Shibuya

We arrived prior to most of the Shibuya shops opening, then MrsWT73 located her first UNI QLO which promptly cost the day an hour. UNI QLO hadn’t opened in the Americas at the time of our visit so this warranted a proper and through examination by MrsWT73. Then it was onto shoe stores for a bit prior to heading up to Shinjuku, ICI sports (my favorite ski equipment store in Japan). 

Shoe Shopping in Shibuya
Ski Shopping for Me: Picking up a Pair of Unique Emuji Goggles

The Meiji Jingu Shrine and Shibuya Summarized:

These two locations are probably among my favourites places to visit in Tokyo. The Meiji Shines represents a peaceful relaxing place well away from the bustle of greater Tokyo. The Shibuya Crossing couldn’t be more of a contrast, as one of the worlds most unique urban spaces that is unparalleled in the world. Watching three thousand people cross a scramble intersection only a few miles away from a peaceful park makes for a day of interesting contrasts.

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