The Meiji Shrine (Meiji Jingu) is the most important and popular Shinto shrine in Tokyo. Dedicated to the Emperor Meiji and his wife, Empress Shōken, in 1926, the shrine comprises buildings of worship, gardens, and a forest where each tree was planted by a different citizen of Japan wanting to pay respects to the emperor. A highlight of the shrine is the Meiji Memorial Hall, where visitors find more than 80 murals dedicated to the emperor.
As one of Tokyo’s most famous attractions, the Meiji Shrine features in most city tours, including both full- and half-day sightseeing tours of Tokyo, that might also include sights like Asakusa Temple, Senso-ji Temple, Harajuku, the Imperial Palace East Garden, and Tsukiji Fish Market. Entrance to the shrine is free, but you’ll need to pay a small admission charge to enter the shrine’s inner garden.
Things to Know Before You Go
- Meiji Jingu is a must-see for first-time visitors to Tokyo, especially those into religious or traditional Japanese architecture.
- Visit the shrine as part of a private or small-group city tour of Tokyo.
- This is a sacred place so follow the rules of etiquette when visiting a temple.
- Photos and video are prohibited inside the halls.
- Bring along some mosquito repellent, especially during the summer months.
- The shrine is accessible to wheelchairs and strollers.
How to Get There
The easiest way to get to the Meiji Shrine is by subway. It is a few steps away from the Harajuku and Meiji-jingumae stations.
When to Get There
The Meiji Shrine is open daily throughout the year between sunrise and sunset. From late May to late June, the shrine’s garden is at its most spectacular as its irises begin to bloom. If you’d like to see a traditional ceremony or wedding at the shrine, plan to visit on Sunday.
Festivals at Meiji Shrine
This popular shrine plays host to several festivals throughout the year, the biggest of which is Hatsumode. Commemorating the first visit to the shrine of the new year, the festival sees millions of people crowd into the grounds on January 1. The second Monday in January is Seijin-no-hi (Adults’ Day or Coming of Age Day), when costumed 20-year-olds come to celebrate their coming of age. Young children aged three, five, and seven enjoy their own festival here in mid-November to celebrate their growth and well-being.