In our first week in Japan, we visited Meiji-Jingu and Asakusa Temple, two of the places that I most wanted to see. I always find it breathtakingly magical to visit temples and palaces and shrines around Asia that are so different from the Chinese-Buddhist ones that I’d often visit in Hong Kong for bai san and other traditions.
Meiji-Jingu is a blissful paradise, rooted in rich greenery between the equally beautiful Yoyogi Park and wildly colourful Harajuku. It’s a short walk from Harajuku and Shibuya stations.
We walked via Shibuya, having spent the morning there, and I couldn't resist taking a photo of these bicycles outside a bicycle shop. Cycling is such a huge part of this city.
The wooden elements of Meiji-Jingu are all elegantly classic, carefully considered with beautiful details and serene colours. I just adored the heart cut-out decor! (Of course.)
Before you enter the temple area, you should wash your hands at the provided water basin. First the right hand, then the left, and you can also rinse your mouth too.
Just look at this satisfying pocket of water!! *____*
These huge cylinders are full of sake and each design represents a different donator.
We finished up at Meiji-Jingu with a beyond beautiful stroll through the trees. I just can't get over the beauty of this country and this city.
It was especially peaceful and quixotic to visit Asakusa Temple in the evening. The temple is renowned for being one of - if not, the - busiest temples in the city and it was pretty cool to see it in a quieter state when we visited. Us three siblings took the opportunity to make a small donation and pray for our beloved Granny Daisy.
At many of the temples and shrines, you can write wishes on little wooden plaques or, at Buddhist temples, use metal shaking sticks to select your own fortune. If you shake out a bad fortune, you must fold it up, knot it on the strings provided and accept the fortunes given to you.