Yoyogi Park is a huge park in the northern part of Shibuya, home of the Meiji Shrine, as well as the location of the first powered aircraft flight in Japan (back when the place was called Yoyogi Army Parade Ground).
After WWII, during the Allied occupation of Japan, the grounds were used by U.S. officers for their military barracks. It was only after the occupation ended and the area was used for the Tokyo Olympics of 1964 that the grounds were turned into today’s park.
In 1920, after the death of Emperor Meiji and Empress Shoken, the Meiji Shrine has been established as people “wished to commemorate their virtues and to venerate them forever” (more info).
People from all over Japan and overseas donated over 10,000 trees and voluntarily planted the forest which people can enjoy today.
The shrine is a Shinto shrine, which is regarded as Japan’s ancient original religion, a form of animism, where places and creatures all possess a distinct spiritual essence (anima in Latin).
The park and the shrine, lively even in winter, are gems which allow people to break away from the hectic and, at times, claustrophobic environments of Tokyo and get back in touch with nature and the past.