The futuristic cities, ancient temples, lightning-fast bullet trains, kimono-clad women and suit-clad businessmen are some of the images that come to mind on hearing the name ‘Japan’. It is one of the easiest countries to travel in and a one that reminds you what motivated you to travel in the first place. If it is modern culture and technology you are interested in , Japan’s cities are an absolute wonderland- a slight glance in to the future of the human race, complete with fabulous restaurants and trend-setting cafés. As for the traditional culture, Japan is the place to gorge yourself on shrines, temples and museums.
A visit to Tokyo, Japan won’t be complete without a visit to the phenomenal Meiji Jingu Shrine, one of the most popular shrines in all of Tokyo. It adds a great contrast to the hustle and bustle of Tokyo with its forest containing almost 120,000 ever evergreen trees belonging to about 365 different species. Dedicated to the souls of the great Emperor Meiji and Empress Shoken, his wife, the shrine was built in an area where they occasionally visited before they passed away respectively in 1912 and 1914.
Constructed in the Nagarezukuri style mainly with Japanese Cypress, the best timber in Japan, the temple consists of two areas. Naien, the interior garden is on the centre of the shrine buildings, encompassing a fantastic treasure museum home to articles of The Emperor Meiji and his wife. Gaien, the external garden houses the Meiji Memorial Picture Gallery that consists about 80 relatively large murals symbolic of the special events of the Meiji Emperor and his spouse, it is also home to the national stadium and the Meiji Memorial Hall, where governmental meetings and discussions surrounding the planning of the Meiji Constitution were held. At the present it is used for the traditional Japanese weddings known as Shinto weddings, which is an astounding sight to see with the bride and the female participants wearing gorgeous traditional kimonos.
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