After walking around Shibuya, we headed north to Yoyogi Park and Meiji Shrine. Yoyogi Park is supposed to be the place to be on Sundays, but unfortunately we didn’t get in to Japan until Sunday night. On a Monday afternoon it’s pretty peaceful with moms and their babies sitting around and random kids practicing martial arts. The dog run was pretty cute though, reminded us of New York with all the little dogs in this city. No one has enough space to have big dogs!
Next to Yoyogi Park on the northeast side is Meiji Shrine. There’s a huge pathway leading to the shrine and large signs telling the story of the Meiji Restoration and the last real emperor of Japan. Good thing Mike had seen the Last Samurai on our hotel TV the night before ha! It was beautiful grounds. Since we had walked around a ton already that day though, we didn’t do the entire circuit of the gardens and visited just the shrine.
Before you go pray at the shrine, you can wash your hands and mouth at a small water fountain station. I snapped this hilarious pic of Mike looking serious and a young girl excited to be in the photo.
Once you get up the shrine, you throw in a few coins and go through the Japanese prayer ritual. This involves putting your hands together in prayer position, clapping twice, saying a silent prayer and then bowing. I liked the clapping twice and adding sound the usual silence of prayer. You can also buy wooden placards and write your prayer on it. Tons of these placards were hanging up around a tree in all different languages. It was cool to see the juxtaposition of Japanese, Thai, Arabic, English, and Chinese.