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Meiji Shrine (Meiji Jingu):
Meiji Shrine is a shrine dedicated to the late Emperor and Empress Meiji.
Located in a forest that covers an area of 700,000m2, the grounds of the shrine was planted with over 100,000 trees of 365 different species, all donated by the public. This peaceful man-made forest acts as a relaxing contrast to the fast-paced and busy streets of Harajuku. Meiji Shrine is one of the most popular destinations on New Year's Day in Japan, as a place to pray for good luck in the year ahead, as well as the desired venue for celebrity weddings. In fact, you are likely to stumble across a wedding in process during your visit.
The focal point of power and notable as the tallest castle in Japan's history, Edo Castle was the residence of the Tokugawa shoguns who controlled Japan during the Edo period. After it was destroyed in fires that swept through the city in 1657 it was not rebuild, but rather replaced by the current Imperial Palace building. Take in the commanding views of the moat, defense walls, entrance gates and guardhouses that line the parameter of the Imperial compound. Alternatively, explore the East Gardens on an one hour tour of the inner palace area.
Please note that the East Garden is closed to the public on Mondays and Fridays. Also, due to time constraints, if you choose to take the East Garden tour you will only be able to visit Meiji Shrine OR Nihonbashi(Ginza) – it is not possible to visit all three locations on the same day.
The Nihonbashi distrist was the center of trade and business during the Edo period. It was the location for Japan’s first department store, Mitsukoshi, and the home of the fish market that was the predecessor of today's Tsukiji fish market. To this day Nihonbashi is regarded as the centre of finance in Japan. In this area you can enjoy a taste of traditional shopping in the original stores of some of Japan's most famous traditional food purveyors. Try delicious senbei (Japanese rice crackers), or sample green tea and high-grade nori at Yamamotoyama. For fans of washi, there will also be a chance to peruse fine examples of handmade Japanese paper at Ozuwashi.
We will travel to Meiji Shrine via public transportation, such as the JR or Metro lines. Take Chiyoda Line to the Imperial Palace. Use a taxi to Nihonbashi (Ginza) district. The tour will conclude at either Mitsukoshimae or Nihonbashi stations.
*For tours within Tokyo: pick-up service from hotels is optional. Select a hotel that is located within 10 minutes walk from any station on the Yamanote line or within the Yamanote line circle.
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