One of my favourite places to take first-time visitors in Tokyo is Meiji Jingu Shrine (明治神宮). Situated in a lush 175 acre forest on the doorstop of fashionable Harajuku it’s far less crowded than Senso-ji in Asakusa and provides the perfect escape from the city.

If you visit mid-morning you’re more than likely to witness the solemn procession of a Shinto wedding through the grounds. Each procession is led by two priests and two shrine maidens, followed by the couple under a red umbrella, and finally family and friends.

I think it can be assumed that this is not a wedding location for the budget constrained.

A morning visit to Meiji Shrine is well complimented by a stroll down the main thoroughfare to Omotesando and then spending the afternoon in the stunning Nezu Museum and gardens. A good spot for lunch along the way is Maisen Tonkatsu (まい泉 青山本店) which is located in a former World War II public bathhouse just behind Omotesando Hills.

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