10D9N Spring Japan Trip: Sake Barrel Offerings, Meiji Jingu

Shinjuku on a Saturday morning is peaceful without the busy vibe of office workers. Since it's just a perfect morning, we decided to make our way to one of the tourist attractions in Japan, Meiji Jingu (re: Meiji Shrine). In order to go to Meiji Jingu, you need to take the subway to the nearest subway station, Harajuku Station.

10D9N Spring Japan Trip: Sake Barrel Offerings, Meiji Jingu

Meiji Jingu and Yoyogi Park are actually situated adjacent to each other. These two make up a large forested area within the densely built-up city of Tokyo. The spacious shrine grounds has a lot of walking paths which are nice to take a stroll leisurely.

Walking path at Meiji Shrine Tokyo Japan

The garden lamp here is so Japanese and it kinda looks like a small shrine in a way. However, since there are not many garden lamps spotted, I wonder if the walking paths are kinda spooky after the sun sets. 

Garden lamp at Meiji Jingu Tokyo Japan

Somewhere along the walking path leading to Meiji Jingu, we saw a row of sake barrels. This sight really intrigued us and the first question popped into our mind is "are these barrels really filled with sake?"

Barrels of sake wrapped in straw at Meiji Shrine Tokyo

Turns out whenever you see a row of sake barrels displayed near a Shinto shrine in Japan, the barrels are empty. They are referred to as "kazaridaru" which means "decoration barrels". Sake has always been seen as a mean to bring gods and people closer together. Drink and be merry together sounds like a good cheer, I suppose? Hahaha. 

Sake Barrels at Meiji Shrine Tokyo Japan

There is another row of barrels spotted a few metres from the above decoration sake barrels. These barrels do give me an impression that they are real wine kept inside. 

Meiji Shrine Wine Crates Tokyo Japan

Why is that so? Because there are details displayed on each crate about the sake's age and everything. The problem is, I have no means to check whether the sake is really kept for real inside the crates or not. It's not probably the wisest choice to drink sake belonging to gods too. =P

A row of sake crates at Meiji Jingu Tokyo Japan

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