Kanda Matsuri is one of the oldest festivals in Japan, and it is famous for the fact that Tokugawa Shogun attended the festival. It is held at Kanda Meijin shrine, which was built more than 400 years ago! They parade around Nihonbashi area.
Access: Around a 5 minute walk from JR Ochanomizu station and Akihabara station. Around a 5-7 minute walk from Tokyo Metro Ochanomizu station, Shin Ochanomizu station, Suehirocho station and Akihabara station.
Kanda Matsuri has been happening since Edo era (1603-1867), and ever since then it is known as a magnificent summer festival. In Meiji era (1868-1912) they changed the shrine's name to Kanda Jinja, and they still hosted festivals with more than 40 floats, but due to the impact of typhoon and depression the festival gradually faded out. As Japan entered Taisho era (1912-1926), they started Mikoshi performance where they carry Mikoshi on their shoulder and parade the cities. However, when Kanto Earthquake hit Japan in 1923, one of their Mikoshi was destroyed and burnt down and the festival was postponed. In 1926, three years after the Kanto Earthquake, the festival was restarted.
After the World War II, due to the spread of vehicles there was a time when a period of festival was shortened from three days to only for a day. Nowadays they even stream live videos of Kanda Matsuri on a website called KandaMatsuri.ch too!
How to enjoy Kanda Matsuri
Mikoshi performance is the highlight of this event! More than 200 mikoshis are carried and enter Kanda Meijin. It is such a vibrant scene of event where inside the shrine gets really crowded with so many people. This Mikoshi performance happens all day long!
They also march down the street of Akihabara with Mikoshi which is super exciting and lively!
Of course, all summer festivals have food stalls with amazingly cheap and good food. If you want to know more about popular summer festival food in Japan, check the link below!
It is usually held during May. In 2019 Kanda Matsuri took place from May 11th to May 17th. The main event where they parade Akihabara streets was held on the 13th, and Mikoshi performance was on the 13th to the 14th.
Don't miss out the Japan's biggest summer festival!
If you are looking for a place to eat around Akihabara area, check out the links below!