Tokyo continued to delight in spite of torrential rain and our visit to the Meiji Shrine – Kaguraden/Jingu in Shebuya was wonderful. The shrine also featured a large number of sake barrels – empty.. When displayed near a Shinto shrine, such barrels are called kazaridaru,which means “decoration barrels.”
These days, the word miki is reserved for rice wine used in Shinto rites and festivals. Sipping a cup is still a prayerful act of symbolic unification with the gods. Shinto shrines and sake manufacturers maintain a symbiotic relationship, in which the shrines conduct rites to ask the gods for the prosperity of the brewers, and — this is where the barrels come in — the brewers donate the grog that shrines need for ceremonies and festivals. Not wanting to miss out on prosperity, a number of French wine barrels were also present.
Set in a huge park to honour Emperor Meiji who passed away in 1912 and Empress Shoken (1914), the Japanese people planted 100,000 trees sourced from all regions of Japan and abroad, completing this huge green space project in 1920. No visit to Tokyo would be complete without visiting.
Of course at these shrines you can purchase fortunes – and should you get a bad one, can purchase prayers to mitigate the negative nature.
After an excellent dinner, I had to finish the night off with a kebab!