Our first stop was Homotsu-Tenjishitsu, a small museum filled with different memorabilia (no cameras allowed). We then made our way through the park accidentally heading to Homotsuden, the treasure museum in the back of the park – bypassing the central shrine. Filled with wildlife and more than 120,000 trees, the park is a spectacular green space in the heart of Tokyo.
Homotsuden holds many treasures enshrined in a beautiful building. Again .. no cameras allowed.
By taking this round-about way we were able to enter the very popular central shrine by a side entrance. At the two entrances to main shrine there is a particular etiquette to be observed and pay respect to the Emperor and Empress. At the Temizuya entrance fountain you are to follow these steps:
1. Rinse your left hand.
2. Rinse your right hand.
3. Pour water into your left hand.
4. Rinse your mouth.
5. Rinse your left hand again.
6. Rinse the dipper (allow the remaining water to run down the handle of the dipper).
We were virtually alone at the fountain, the other entrance had 60 or 70 people crammed in trying to observe the ritual.
We were then off to the central shrine.