Meiji Jingu, which is a 1-minute walk from Harajuku Station of JR Yamanote Line, is one of the most prestigious Shinto Shrine in Japan. It was established as a national memorial to commemorate Emperor Meiji and Emperess Shoken in 1920. For details about this shrine, see the article on Meiji Shrine.
This shrine holds a grand festival (taisai) biannually -in spring and in fall. The Haru no Taisai, or the Spring Grand Festival, is held from late April to May 3rd every year.
Haru no Taisai at Meiji Shrine, Tokyo (明治神宮 春の大祭)
At the spring grand festival, rituals are practiced every year by Shinto priests at 10am and 2pm on May 2 and at 10am on May 3. These are solemn rites held inside the shrine building. Below photos are of priests getting out of the shrine complex after their services.
Votive performances & offerings
Every year, bugaku, noh & kyogen, hogaku hobu, sankyoku, satsuma-biwa, and rural performances are dedicated to the shrine at this event. Of these, noh & kyogen are not allowed to take photos.
Bugaku is gagaku (ancient court music) accompanied by dance. It is performed on Saturday just before May 2.
Satsuma-biwa, performed on either May 2nd or 3rd, is a kind of biwa. Biwa is an instrument which originated in Persia and Arabia and came to Japan in the 8th century.
Sankyoku is three kinds of music with three traditional instruments -koto, shamisen, and shakuhachi. It is played on either May 2nd or 3rd
Hogaku is a genre of music formed after the 17th century. Hobu is a dance performance formed in the 15th century. It is played on either May 2nd or 3rd.
Rural performances from the Kanto region is performed on May 3.
Ikebana is Japanese traditional flower arrangement.
Local specialities from around Japan are also dedicated to the shrine deities.