Area Guide

[Tokyo] Kanda Myojin Shrine (神田明神) : Tokyo’s Historic Haven Known for Tradition and Technological Blessings

A Historic Gem Known for Its Technological Blessings and Vibrant Festivals

In the heart of Tokyo lies a treasure steeped in history and tradition – the Kanda Myoujin Shrine. This sacred sanctuary has been the guardian spirit of 108 town councils, including popular tourist hotspots like Akihabara and Tsukiji Fish Market. With roots dating back to 730 AD, this Shinto shrine is dedicated to three powerful gods: Daikokuten, Ebisu, and Taira no Masakado. It has stood the test of time, even surviving the Great Kanto Earthquake and war, and has been expertly restored to resemble its appearance from the Edo period.

The Kanda Myoujin Shrine is not just any ordinary place of worship. Its vermilion-colored building is adorned with gold and lacquered interiors, making it a breathtaking sight to behold. Visitors can marvel at the stunning sculptures of the enshrined gods, adding to the shrine’s mystical charm. And what sets it apart from other shrines is its unique offering of talismans that bless electronic devices against harm. No wonder it has become particularly popular among technophiles who frequent the neighboring Akihabara district.

But the main event that draws millions of visitors to the Kanda Myoujin Shrine is the Kanda Matsuri, one of Japan’s three greatest festivals, which takes place every odd-numbered year in May. This vibrant festival features a parade of over 200 mikoshi (portable shrines) that start and end at the shrine, passing through central Tokyo districts like Nihombashi and Otemachi. The Kanda Matsuri is a lively celebration of Edo’s history and culture, adding to the shrine’s significance in Japanese culture.

The Kanda Myoujin Shrine’s significance goes beyond just cultural and spiritual importance. It is a symbol of the connection between ancient and modern Tokyo. During the Edo period, shogun Tokugawa Ieyasu paid his respects at the shrine, and today, the shrine’s reflection of Tokyo’s technological innovation is a testament to the influence of innovation and society on the city.

To visit the Kanda Myoujin Shrine, take a short walk from Ochanomizu, Shin-Ochanomizu, or Suehirocho Stations.

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