The artificial forest is with trees brought from different parts of Japan and looks as if it is a natural forest. There are brooks flowing through the artificial forest. The construction of the shrine was started in 1915 in the Nagarezukuri style using Japanese cypress and copper. The air raids during Second World War had totally destroyed the shrine. The shrine was rebuilt on 1958 after the war.
The first time I visited this shrine was with my brother. The pamphlets written in English and Japanese have a brief history of the Shrine. Meiji Jingu Shinto shrine is dedicated to the deified spirits of Emperor Meiji and Empress Shoken. After their death people wished to pay their respects to the Emperor and Empress and they selected an iris garden in an area of Tokyo where Emperor and Empress used to visit, to build the shrine.
On the way to the shrine we could see huge barrels stocked in racks on the sides of the road. These are barrels of sake (sake means alcohol in Japanese language) known as nihonshu donated to the Meiji Jingu shrine.
We can write down and sign the prayers and put them in envelops along with offerings. Recovery from ill-health, protection from evil spirits, family protection, Children’s health, General well-being, Business prosperity etc can be requested through the prayers. It is believed that the prayers we make at the shrine will come true.
The shrine closes at around 6 in the evening. Harajuku and surrounding areas were still boisterous with colorful and cheerful youngsters chirping around showing no interest to return to their nest. The shrine and the garden surrounding it stood behind us as a symbol of Emperor Meiji’s wisdom when we looked back.