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Meiji Jingu, Shinto Shrine with a garden

The Meiji Jingu, or Meiji Shrine, is one of the most important tourist attractions in Tokyo. A long walk from the entrance gate amidst dense forest like plantations and lot of flowers provided a shot of fresh energy.

While I was getting myself aware about Meiji Shrine, came to know that this is a Shinto shrine. Meiji Shrine is dedicated to the divine souls of the Emperor Meiji and as his Empress Shoken, who passed away in 1912 and 1914 respectively. In order to commemorate their virtues forever, people donated more than 100,000 trees from all over Japan and overseas. This is how; a 175 acre evergreen forest was created in year 1920, which is now a home to many endangered plants and animals. Can’t express my respect to this noble way to remember and respect your loved ones, planting a tree. It needs to be replicated elsewhere as well to solve lot of environmental issues as well.
Shrine is a grand architecture, livid with lot of amazing people.

Inside the premises there is an interesting "Wish Tree," on which visitors write and hang their wishes. 

Also there is a picture gallery and museum on the premises. Shrine was destroyed in World War - II raids and was rebuilt in 1958.

On the way to the shrine, saw these barrels of wine. These wine barrels were gifted to Emperor Meiji by celebrated wineries Bourgogne in France. 
It was during the time when Japan just started opening up from an isolationist state to a modern nation by embracing goodness of western culture, however not at cost of leaving Japanese traditions. This is called, a perfect blending of modernity and traditional virtues. 
Nearby to above wine barrels were barrels of Sake (traditional Japanese alcoholic beverage). Vow.

Hold on, these barrels are offered every year to the shrine by breweries around Japan as a token of respect to Emperor Meiji and his consort and also as a prayer to continuous prosperity of Japanese Sake Industry. 
After visit to this shrine, I just recalled an old saying which I learnt from my father – Never forget your roots, real prosperity lies in taking pride in your culture, your values. That is perhaps a secret behind astonishing growth of Japan as a country and development as a society. 
Spots like Meiji Shrine are the ones which actually changes your outlook towards the world. It was a visit which was worth a hundred travels. I will say a must experience for first time travel to Japan.


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