The day began with the sunlight and warmer temperatures. 9:30 am again found Izumi waiting patiently for us. Today we are starting at the Meiji Shrine, dedicated to the Emperor Meiji and his wife, the Empress Shoken. Completed in 1921, it is an fine example of Shinto architecture. The current building was reconstructed after the original was destroyed in an air raid in 1945.
Here is the main Torii (main gate) which at 39 feet is Japan’s largest gate.
The shrine and its forest area is full of activity this beautiful Saturday. It’s hard to believe that inside this populous city of millions there is a place as tranquil as this.
As we walked toward the shrine we came across this celebration to Saki.
We approached a second gate and I decided to take a photo from a different perspective.
In Japan, after the first month of a baby’s life on earth, the family takes him or her to a local shrine to show their new baby to the gods. The baby is dressed up with a fomal dress gifted from the mother’s family, and a grandmother holds the baby to go to a shrine. The shrine offers a prayer wishing happiness and good health for the baby. Here is a photo of a family on the way to having their baby presented to the priest and the gods.
As we made our way toward the temple, we stopped to cleanse ourselves. This is done by a ritual washing of one’s hands with water by pouring water onto the hands using a ceremonial ladle. Here JoAnn and Izumi are engaged in washing.Photo
And here is a photo of the ladles used to wash. To wash one fills the ladle with water and then splash some on each hand. Once that is done you then turn the ladle upward so as to run water down the handle to purify it.
The as we approached the main temple we were fortunate to watch a traditional wedding procession. The Shinto Priest, dressed in purple, was leading the bride and groom and their families from the temple and through the court yard. The bride’s attire is traditional.
Then, following the ceremony and procession, formal photos are taken.
Time for lunch. Izumi chose an automated, pick by picture on an iPad, sushi place. What more can I say except the sushi was great.
And then, we were off to visit Shibuya Crossing and the statue of the devoted dog, Hachiko. Ever faithful to his master, Hachiko returned everyday to the place where he would meet his master as he arrived after work. Together they walked home, day after day, year after year. Upon his master’s death Hachiko continued to wait for him, day after day and year after year until Hachiko passed away.