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September 29, 2015

Meiji Jingu

This is one of the larger temples I have seen, Meiji Jingu. It is located near the Harajuku district of Tokyo. A fascinating thing about Japan is the preservation (and/or restoration) of these ancient and beautiful buildings. To see the old and classical architecture side by side with the modern skyscrapers and other feats of architecture, like Skytree, is such a treat and a distinguishing feature of Japan.

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Read more about Diana’s adventures and life in Yachiyo City:

Life in  Yachiyo City, Japan

Jennifer and I ventured out to this temple while visiting Harajuku. When visiting a temple in Japan, there are certain rituals you can participate in. These are holy places, mainly Buddhist or Shinto, and the temple grounds usually consist of the main temple, sometimes a pagoda, and a roofed structure that holds water. Here, there are normally statues of some sort, and several metal ladles of sorts with long wooden handles. These are meant to be used to collect water to then pour over your hands and wash your mouth with. This act is in order to purify yourself before walking up the temple steps, tossing in a 5 yen coin (this is considered the “lucky coin” in Japan), clap three times and then offer up a prayer. If the temple is opened there may be more rituals going on inside.

We unfortunately reached Meiji Jingu as it was closing so we were not able to stay long. Nevertheless, I loved being able to take the journey down the paved road, surrounded by trees, passing under larger than life arches to see such a gorgeous structure. I have been fortunate enough to visit several other temples and shrines while in Japan, and intend to continue over the next year.

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Visiting the temple at Narita last week. Shown in front is a pit with incense/embers burning. One stands in the smoke to purify oneself before heading to the main temple for prayer (right).

Sayonara -
d.r.