It turns out that Meiji Shrine was celebrating its 90th anniversary!
Meiji Shrine 90th Enshrinement Anniversary.
明治神宮 (Meiji Jingu - Meiji Shrine) is one of the most famous shrines in Japan and definitely a must-visit for tourists in Tokyo. It is situated at the heart of the city, near Harajuku and Shibuya.
鳥居 (Torii - Sacred entrance to a shinto shrine) to Meiji Shrine.
I am touched by the history of how Meiji Shrine was founded when I read all about it at the exhibition square. I am no history expert and below is a summary from what I read and gathered. Please pardon me if it is not very well-written!
The shrine is dedicated to the Emperor Meiji (1852 - 1912) and his wife. The location was chosen among other places as this was an area with a garden where Emperor Meiji and Empress Shouken enjoyed taking walks.
Awesome photo of the shrine in the midst of luscious greenery with the city as background.
Under Emperor Meiji's reign of 45 years, Japan rose from a nation of feudalism to a new economic height. His ruling brought along many good changes, and Japan's economy and technology improved greatly.
When Emperor Meiji passed away, the people wished to commemorate his virtues and the building of Meiji Shrine became a national project.
Some 110,000 youth volunteers from all across Japan came together to plant trees and get the grounds ready for the building of the shrine. The woods around the shrine were made up of trees from all regions of Japan and some were even contributed from overseas.
The people's love and gratitude towards Emperor Meiji laid the foundations of Meiji Shrine and 2010 marks the 90th year since it was founded. Performances and festivals are held within these few days to celebrate its glory and the photos I am about to share is just a prelude of the celebrations. There was an even bigger celebration with lanterns and light-ups yesterday, which I missed!
Anyhoo, here are photos of the festival!
Was trying to get a photo of this boy but he kept moving around. His senior told him to keep still for my photo and he obligingly did so! You can see how long his eyelashes are from the side!
I shamelessly asked the boys to pose for me and they looked kinda grumpy but still handsome!
Was hungry and decided to grab some food!
My たい焼き (Taiyaki - Japanese fish-shaped cake).
Big apple pie!
Advertising for their stall.
Wouldn't it be uncomfortable to work in that costume?
Salt milk soft-cream!
Stay tuned for part 2!