As I was in the vicinity and at a bit of a loose end I decided to go to the Meiji-jingu Shrine last week which was one of the first touristy spots that I visited when I first arrived in Japan at the end of 2003.
Tokyo’s biggest and most sacred shrine is a nice, quiet and peaceful place just a stones throw away from lively Harajuku. To say I’m not too strong on religious things like temples and shrines is probably an understatement but this shrine is interesting for the grounds that surround it. The cypress tree-lined path from the main entrance provided a pleasant leisurely stroll to the shrine itself.
There were a few young girls wearing special ceremonial kimono being taken there by their parents for their Shichi-go-san (literally translates as “seven, five, three”). I’m not sure if this is why they were there but i’ve heard these three ages are very important in a child’s life and that a shrine visit around this time of year marks the growth of their children…or something like that!