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It was too hot for me to walk all the way to the shrine but I really enjoyed the former imperial garden and tea house along the way, Meiji Jingu Gaien. There is a lovely pond there with a couple benches, formal iris garden which must be spectacular in May-June and an amazing collection of bonsai.
I went on a Monday and it wasn’t too busy. Although, there were a few tour buses of retirees that came through as I was leaving, so just be aware of your surroundings and try to get there earlier in the day. It’s a great stroll and a beautiful green space.
The shrine and it's surrounding garden are my favorite place in the world. If you're getting overwhelmed by the hustle and bustle of Tokyo life this place will calm you. Every time I go to Japan I make this a must do!
There are weddings on Saturdays. You can see couples dressed in traditional Japanese clothing. The couples move in a mini parade from where the ceremony is carried out to an area where wedding photos are taken. It's very pretty and you'll get great pictures.
One good place to visit. Admission is free. Day Tours which include a short lake cruise will cost $91 and you still have to take the subway to get to the pickup point. You will spend under $4 round trip for the train or subway ride from any Tokyo Hotel next to a train/subway station to Harajuku station and Meiji Shrine (just around the corner).
etiquette - hand washing at the water station before you enter 1) rinse the ladle 2) wash left hand with ladle 3) wash right hand with ladle 4) fill left hand with water, slurp, rinse mouth and spit out 5) rinse ladle and replace 6) bow thanks. Walk on edges of the gates - only Gods can pass through the middle. To make a wish at the shrine, take a 5 yen coin (with a hole in) toss the coin in, bow, clap twice, make your wish, bow again.