One of their main shrines is the Meiji Shrine (Meiji Jhingu) which is situated in a beautiful forested area of the Yoyogi Park and dedicated to the deified spirits of Emperor Meiji and his consort, Empress Shoken. There’s something extremely austere about it—in serenity and size and sans any embellishments. There are so many areas one can just sit in-amidst nature and massive trees—that it’s very peaceful. There is a beautiful, old camphor tree on the eastern side of the shrine, which allows for you to write your prayers and wishes on wooden tablets (called ema) and hang them on the hooks provided in the hope that they come true. I would say, it's a definite visit for anyone going to Tokyo.
The icing on the cake for us was visiting what is now my favourite experience of Japan, the Daibutsu (or the Great Buddha) at Kamakura. The Daibutsu (as the statue is fondly known) is a bronze statue of Amida Buddha, which is magnificent and will both dwarf you and humble you with its colossal size. It was once enclosed in a temple, but that has since collapsed and still the Daibutsu sits strong, forgiving and loving out in the open. To say that the Buddha is enormous will be an understatement. There is an amazing feeling of peace and of being loved, that you feel watching the expression carved on the face of the statue as well as in the details of the hands and other features. You can visit the hollow inside of the statue till a certain time and get a better idea on how it was set and how it has withstood the onslaught of nature for hundreds of years. Not a place that lets you leave easily!
Like I said before, I look forward to when I can go back and envelope myself in beauty and culture of Japan and its people!
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