Route: Get off at Omotesando Station (Tokyo Railway/not JR) => Walk to Harujuku Station/13min~20min (and look around) => Walk into Meiji Shrine/10min~30min sightseeing inside the Shrine => Walk (or take JR train) to Shinjuku Station/30-40min walking.
After getting the yummy, juicy fruit tarts from QFB for breakfast (Please Click to the Last Post), we walked 12 minutes up the streets from Omotesando Station and arrived at Harajuku Station, which happens to be where Meiji Shrine is (Entrance is on the left side of the station, the area where a lot of trees/mini forest is).
Meiji Shrine is a Shinto Shrine, the oldest and original religion of Japan. Meiji Shrine was built for Emperor Meiji and Empress Shoken as a way to remember their great deeds in the Japanese history. Emperor Meiji was the one who really cared about international relations, and introduced western technology and culture into the country to form the bases for modern Japan.
Along the way to the Shrine itself, my boyfriend had a tough time walking through because he was wearing Crocs, the plastic sandal with many holes. All the pebbles fought for their chances to get into the Crocs and made him stop multiple times. Lesson learned? No sandals when visiting Meiji Shrine.
(Photo Above: People rinse their hands and mouth. 1. You first rinse your left hand, then right hand. 2. Then pour water into your left hand and rinse your mouth. 3. Last but not least, rinse your left hand and rinse the dipper. )
(Photo Above: There were 2 weddings or more going on at Meiji Shrine that day. Here is a family trying to take the wedding photos, with the bride wearing the white outfit/hood in the middle. I seriously have no idea how they wear long sleeves and with so many layers during a hot summer day.)
(Photo Above:There is a large Guardian Tree in the court of the Shrine. People write their wishes & prayers on the wooden blocks, then hang it on the walls surrounding the tree. They do ask for donation of 500 Yen/about $6 USD. )
(Photo Above: Visitor’s Center here also sells a tea, Meiji’s Tea, that I love and came back to restock. Meiji’s Tea is freshly made by a lady that comes to the Shrine from time to time and roast the tea onsite. This time I did not see her, so I bought a pre-packaged Meiji’s Tea.)
(Photo Above: Meiji Shrine visitor’s center also sells seasonal traditional Japanese sweets. Those are meant to be paired with Japanese Macha Green Tea, never eat those without the tea!! I learned the hard way)
For More Info: http://www.meijijingu.or.jp/english/
Out of respect to the Shinto Religion I did not take photos directly facing the Shrine in the inner court, and I also chose not to post the photos I have taken outside the gate that faces towards the Shrine directly. Please wear comfortable shoes for travel and dress appropriately (tank tops and super mini skirts without tights are probably not a good idea).
Map (From Omotesando Station to Harajuku Station/Meiji Shrine Entrance):