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Visit to the Meiji Shrine in Tokyo

Submitted by: Flyaway Kumamoto  | Nearest Major City: Tokyo  | Category: Sightseeing

Meiji Shrine in Tokyo

Meiji Shrine in Tokyo

I got off the Harajuku Station and looked around me. Japan truly was an eclectic mix of the old and the new. All around me, the hustle and bustle of the city was evident by the fast pace of the people. It was hard to believe that a few minutes’ walk away, there lay a shrine to an Emperor and Empress of Japan.

With my map in hand, I squared my shoulders and began my journey onward to the shrine. It was one of the recommended tourist spots based on my research and so, I added it to my itinerary.

After the "Elevator Stint" starring my boyfriend and an officemate exploded all over the internet, I had to pick up the pieces of my dignity off our apartment floor and proceed to pack them up in a neatly labelled box, which I took with me when I transferred to a new apartment. Leo had not exactly been the perfect guy, but it was really hard to come up with anyone to compare to when I’ve basically spent five years of my life linked to him.

Naturally, he proceeded down the natural course of denial, followed by heartfelt apologies and ardent declarations of love, which would have been great if I hadn’t been slapped with very strong evidence as to why I shouldn’t engage in any amorous exploits with the said man. I certainly didn’t want to end up married to the "Elevator Guy".

I kind of realized that he might not take the breakup easily but I had no idea that "I will never leave you again" translated to stalking, which was creepier than I could take. So, I decided to take that much deserved break my boss had been dangling in front of me since last month. Mr. Sheldon probably thought it was to get away from the office gossip due to the "Elevator Stint" and frankly, I couldn’t care less.

I pushed all thoughts of my life in New York to the back of my mind when I crossed the huge gate the Japanese called torii, which marked the entrance to the Meiji Shrine. It was easier to get into the mood of it, too, because beyond the gate, there was hardly any trace of the modern city I left behind.

The tall trees provided a tranquil setting that I found soothing to my frayed nerves. The guide in my hands told me that the trees came from the many different regions of Japan and numbered at approximately 100,000. That was a whole lot of trees.

I paid the fee to gain access into the Inner Garden, which was supposed to be quite the sight right about this time of the year, when the irises are in bloom. There was a hushed atmosphere all over the place and I was able to properly soak in all the beauty and peacefulness it offered.

I found Kiyomasa’s Well, which was supposedly a "power spot". It was dug by one of Japan’s military commanders approximately 400 years ago and was even visited by then Emperor Meiji and his consort, the Empress Shoken.

Energized by the Inner Garden, I decided to proceed to the Treasure House to soak up more of Japan’s history and culture. Again, I paid for the entrance fee required and followed some tourists into the building.

The Treasure House displayed several items which belonged to Emperor Meiji and Empress Shoken, including the carriage that the Emperor himself rode on his way to the signing of the Meiji Constitution.

As I exited the Treasure House, I caught sight of priests and maidens dressed in traditional garb, preparing for a traditional Shinto wedding. I find myself smiling in spite of the fact that I was supposed to be a June bride myself. Some of us are truly fortunate to find the other halves of our souls; I was just thankful I was lucky enough to escape tying myself to the wrong half.

By the time I left, the sun had begun to set but as for my spirits, they had just begun to soar.

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