Meiji Grand Shrine is, shockingly, just outside Harajuku Station. When you exit the station into this bustling, fashionable area, a large, peaceful, woodsy area and a huge shrine are the last things that come to mind. But it’s there.
After crossing a small bridge, you are greeted by a large, plain wooden torii surrounded by tall trees. The instant you walk through this gate, it’s as if you’ve left the city behind.
I’ve been fortunate enough to visit twice, once 2013 and once in 2018; both in summer. The shade was a welcome change as we walked along the gravel path to the shrine.
Unlike most shrines that house ancient deities, Meiji Grand Shrine houses the souls of the Emperor Meiji and the Empress Shoken. It was built in 1920, though it was destroyed during World War II and rebuilt afterwards.