My Japan Trip: Visiting Meiji Shrine Near Harajuku

Meiji Shrine Near Harajuku:

I arrived in Tokyo on Saturday evening, and all I did was pretty much walk around Shibuya, which was where my hotel was located.  With the long plane ride and the lack of sleep, I pretty much went to bed early that night.  However, I woke up very early the next morning and since it was such a nice day, I decided to go to Meiji Shrine near Harajuku.  From where my hotel was located, it was literally only one stop away by train.

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↑ Early morning in Shibuya.

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I am no expert of Meiji Shrine but from what I know, it’s a shrine that was dedicated in 1920 to Emperor Meiji and Empress Shoken.  Since Meiji Shrine is one of the more popular shrines in Japan, there are quite a lot of people visiting but what’s amazing is even with all those people, there’s still a sense of tranquility to this place.  In other words, it’s not going to be like Disney World on a summer day ;).  It’s a lot of walking around since it’s kind of in a mini forest but definitely worth it in my opinion.

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↑ This was taken at F1.4 with the 21mm Summilux ASPH.  I wish I had an ND filter.

Visitors can also take part in Shinto activities, such as, writing out one’s wishes on an ema, buying charms, and making offerings.  There are also traditional Shinto weddings at the shrine all year round.  In fact, I got to see one, which was very cool.  Overall, there’s a lot of photography to be done here.  My advice: bring a wide angle lens.  I had the 21mm Summilux ASPH that Bob at Bergen County Camera loaned me, and it was the perfect lens for this place.  For those who want to visit Meiji Shrine, it’s quite easy to get there.  It’s right next to Harajuku station, which is a very busy train hub.

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↑ Preparing for a Shinto wedding.  As I mentioned previously in a different post, I used the 21mm Summilux for most of my trip to Japan.  This was one of the very few times I used my 50mm Summicron.

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↑ This was taken with the Leica X Typ 113 and can also be found in my review of that camera.

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After spending a few hours here, I walked over to the famous Takeshita Dori (Takeshita Street) and Omotesando to do a little shopping :).  The last time I went to Takeshita Dori was a long time ago, and the liveliness of this area has not change, which is a good thing.  It was really cool to see, and I’ll post some pictures from here in my next write up.  I hope you enjoy the pics of Meiji Shrine, and thanks for stopping by!

4 comments… add one
  • elderin

    Hello Patrick,

    thanks for sharing your experience with us. I like the Images with the 21mm lens and the way you used it. Not in a landscape photographers style but much more like a street shooter would do. I like the field of view the 21mm lens gives you. You see so much from the invironment you shoot in. The result is much like a mix of landscape and street.

    • Patrick

      Hi Elderin,

      Thanks for the kind words. I used to own a 21mm Elmarit but traded it in a long time ago. But after this trip, I’m kind of wishing I had a 21mm again. I like the field of view as well, and I’m finding it works well with me now…definitely better than a few years back. I guess my shooting style has changed a bit over the years. But seeing as I just invested in medium format film, I will definitely have to wait a bit before I make a purchase, especially if I end up going for the Summilux, which is insanely expensive.

      Best regards,

      Patrick

  • Jed Orme

    Patrick,

    What a great mix of travel & street photography. I wouldn’t have thought it would work out as well as you managed. I know when I have my 14mm on my Fuji X-E2 I have some difficulty in using it on the street. Problems of wanting but not able to get close enough or filling up the outer frame edges, but you have inspired me to maybe think more about my equivalent lens to your 21mm for this kind of work. Terrific photos that really convey so much of what is different & unique about Japan. Also a nice personal aspect that allows us to share what you were doing & seeing. Please show us more!

    Jed

    Jed

    • Patrick

      Thanks for the kind words, Jed!

      Over the years, I’ve been gravitating towards wide angles more and more. As you know, I’ve been shooting with the 18mm for a while but after this trip, I think I might give a 21mm a try. Of course, I would have to wait a bit since I just invested in medium format film. I know it’s only 3mm difference but at the wide spectrum, it can make a big difference. For one, I find it’s actually easier to use a 21mm. It also seemed to fit my way of photographing. I didn’t even think I would enjoy using it so much but almost all of my photos from Japan were shot with the 21mm.

      Best regards,

      Patrick

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