Translated by Jasmine Nishino
Kanda Myojin - A Famous Shrine Near Akihabara
Written by Mami Wakamatsu
Kanda Myojin Shrine is a 1300-year-old shrine within walking distance from Ochanomizu and Akihabara. Many have come here to greet the guardian deity of Tokyo, which is enshrined here.
Kanda Myojin Shrine is within walking distance from Ochanomizu Station and Akihabara, which is also known as the town of otaku culture. It is a shrine with a history of over 1300 years.
It is known as the shrine that protects the city of Edo (present-day Tokyo) since the Edo period. Many people have come to worship and give their prayers at this well-known shrine.
Even now, 108 towns within Tokyo worship the main deity enshrined here. Therefore, many people visit Kanda Myojin Shrine to pray for new relationships, better business, company prosperity, warding away bad omens, and fast recovery from illnesses.
For a shrine with such grand powers, one may think it is a formal shrine with a tense atmosphere, but when you actually visit, you will notice how relaxing it is. It is a beautiful shrine where one can be at ease. It has vast grounds, a roof garden, and a peaceful walking route that is perfect for a stroll.
The Grand Zuishinmon Gate
After walking about 5 minutes from Ochanomizu Station, you will find the torii gate leading to Kanda Myojin Shrine by the large street called Hongo-dori.
Once you walk past the torii gate and go up the hill, you will find the Zuishinmon Gate of Kanda Myojin Shrine. This gate is two stories high and made completely out of cedar. There is a sculpture of the deity of business, Daikoku, engraved on the gate.
Inside, the shrine grounds are very spacious and perfect for walks.
Once you enter, your first stop will be at the chozuya. Rinse and purify your hands and mouth before entering the shrine.
Read also: How To Visit A Japanese Shrine
Main Hall Designated as a National Treasure
The main hall of Kanda Myojin Shrine was constructed in 1927 and managed to survive the bombing of Tokyo in 1945. It underwent major repairs and reconstruction from 1994-1999 and in 2003, it was registered as a Tangible Cultural Property. In this main hall, the man who was said to have protected the people by managing the government of the Kanto area, Taira no Masakado no Mikoto is enshrined.
The day we visited, a wedding was being held.
If you are unsure of how to properly visit a shrine, there are instructions written in English in various areas of Kanda Myojin Shrine.
Other Highlights of the Shrine
On the right-hand side of the main hall, you will find the Ho-o-den that is used as a resting spot and also as a shop selling charms and talismans along with souvenirs.
You will also find the largest stone Daikoku statue in Japan, which stands 6.6 meters tall and weighs 30 tons. You will notice that the God of Luck, Ebisu, has a statue here as well.
The unique part of this shrine is how it collaborates with anime. Kanda Myojin Shrine is close to Akihabara and therefore, you can find festival posters, souvenirs, and charms with anime characters drawn on them.
Another part of the shrine that is a must-go is the roof garden. This garden was made to keep the greenery in the area alive. It is a perfect place to take a relaxing stroll.
From the garden bench, you can enjoy a nice view of the shrine grounds too.
On the day we visited, it was sunny and therefore the greens, the Zuishinmon Gate, and the main hall were very beautiful and colorful.
Not only do you get to visit the home of the deity that has been protecting Tokyo for hundreds of years, but you can also find great gifts and souvenirs related to the shrine, take walks in the garden, and even see ponies.
It is also right near the heart of anime culture, Akihabara, and the city of cafes and second-hand bookshops, Jimbocho, as well as the Ochanomizu area. This shrine is conveniently located in an area where various aspects of Japanese culture collide, so why not take a stop during your tour around Tokyo?
Kanda Myojin Shrine
Address: Tokyo, Chiyoda, Soto-Kanda 2-16-2
Nearest Station: Ochanomizu Station (JR Chuo, Sobu, and Tokyo Metro Marunouchi lines), Akihabara Station (JR Keihin Tohoku, Yamanote, Tokyo Metro Hibiya lines), Shin-Ochanomizu Station (Tokyo Metro Chiyoda line), Suehirocho Station (Tokyo Metro Ginza line)
Access: 5-minute walk from Ochanomizu Station Hijiribashi exit, Shin-Ochanomizu Station's Hijiribashi exit or from Suehirocho Station; 7-minute walk from JR Keihin Tohoku/Yamanote line's Akihabara Station's Electric town exit, or from the Hibiya line's Akihabara Station.
Phone Number: +81-03-32540753
Website: Kanda Myojin Shrine