Walking around the Meiji shrine in Tokyo was a true delight. The jingu is located in a large forested park. While we were walking on the giant promenade to the shrine, we felt as though we weren’t in a large city anymore. There were no signs of bustling streets, people rushing to the JR, or crowded ally ways of stores and shops. After taking the refreshing walk shaded by 100,000 deciduous trees, we reached the shrine. We noticed that the entrance was being renovated but the shrine was still there. We decided to take a walk to see what else the park had to offer.
We came across the Kiyomasa no Ido, Kiyomasa’s well. It cost 500 yen (a little less than $5 USD) and was definitely worth checking out. We saw the tea house the Emperor ordered to have built for the Empress Shoken, along with a large fishing pond, the Nan-chi pond. In the pond we watched many large carp fish swim by. We even spotted a Asiatic softshell turtle!
The path led us to the Iris garden where around 1,500 groups of irises grow. We walked by momiji (Japanese maple), satsuma (Azalea), and hagi (Bush clover) while on our way to Kiyomasa’s well. The well is named after a famous samurai, Kiyomasa Kato, because legend has it that he was the one who originally built the well. Spring water flows out of the well and helps irrigate the Iris Garden and eventually leads out into the Shibuya River.
There were lots of people visiting the shrine since we went during the summer season. Each season gifts visitors various floral varietals and natural wild life. The irises can be seen in the spring, while suiren (Water lilies) float on top of the Nan-chi pond in the summer. Come Fall, golden and crimson colored leaves scatter the park paths and in the winter one can observe Mandarin ducks swim across the pond. This park is a restored edition along side the renovated shrine and is a great get away from the massive city scene in Tokyo.