The Meiji Jingu Shrine, one of the largest shrines in Japan, is located in the downtown area of Harajuku in Tokyo. Located close to the JR Harajuku Station, Meiji Jingu is a world apart. Dedicated to the spirits of Emperor Meiji and Empress Shoken, once you enter the precincts of this shrine, you will forget that you are in the crowded city of Tokyo.
If you search for an image of Meiji Jingu online, you will probably see many hits for the large torii (gate) and the many sake barrels piled on top of each other. This is the only route to visit the shrine and most visitors use this path without taking any turns.
However, we strongly recommend that you take one of the left side roads as at the end of this path, you will find a paradise on earth. After you see the famous sake barrel wall, take the left on the opposite side.
Follow the signs and go inside. As you follow the path, you will see age-old trees towering around you. The fresh air and vivid green will make you feel rejuvenated.
As you walk further into the Inner Garden, you will see an old Japanese-style, traditional house.
Every year in June, water lilies as well as lotuses bloom in the pond creating an image that seems to be like a Monet painting.
As you go beyond this spot, you will be surprised to see an iris field in full bloom from mid-June to early July.
This iris garden was built by the Meiji Emperor. At first, 48 varieties were planted here, and gradually the type of irises increased. At present, there are more than 1,500 irises of nearly 150 species.
A small thatched roof structure is located slightly higher than the iris field and offers a panoramic view of the beautiful flowers.
Kiyomasa’s well is located within the garden which was visited by the Emperor and Empress in their lifetime; this has become a famous spiritual power spot.
The lotus pond, the iris flower field, and the ancient forest of the Meiji Jingu Shrine all receive water from this well. It is said that a power line comes down from Mount Fuji straight to the Imperial Palace in Tokyo known as the “dragon vein” and the Imperial Palace being a “dragon hole” meaning that the dragon’s energy accumulates in such spots.
Why don’t you spend some additional time here and enjoy the sight of irises.