First thing... we went straight to Yoyogi Kouen (park) with the plan to visit Meiji-jingu. You don't realise it, except perhaps from atop the Metropolitan Government Building, just how big Yoyogi Kouen is. And how fertile and green. It is perhaps hard to get a sense of perspective... and at times like these, I find it best to hug a tree and get back to nature (even if it's part of a giant Torii gate). This is best approached from JR Harajuku station... where you might see some interesting characters on your way.
The Japanese have another theory.... and that is - drink a lot of Sake. For some reason, Sake and shrines go hand-in-hand... indeed, you will often see Sake casks lined up, as if to say... join in, we have REALLY GOOD PARTIES! The barrels are for decoration only (no free samples sorry), and as such are known as kazaridaru. The relevenance - well apparently the word for sake used to sound a whole lot like the word for god... o'miki. Anyway, a long story and most probably just a good excuse for a booze up.
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Meiji-jingu (as you may have gathered) is a relatively new shrine... it was developed following the Emperor Meiji's death in 1912, and was completed in 1920. The Shrine itself has two areas : an outer garden (gaien) and inner or naien). The shrine is entered through a mon (gate), where you will find a wide open paved area leading to the mian hall.
The gardens however are worth spending some time wandering around - and as twilight approaches the lights passing through the trees can be breath-taking. At least if you're there.