Japanese people have a custom to visit a shrine (or a Buddhist temple) on New Year’s Day to pray for a good new year.
Kanda Myojin Shrine in Akihabara district is one of the most popular shrines in Tokyo among locals. If you visit there on 4 January, be careful. Local business people LITERALLY JAM the shrine on the first business day of the year because Kanda Myojin has been said to welcome good luck to business for hundreds of years.
When the extreme days leave, however, Kanda Myojin’s January has not ended.
Yearly Daikoku Festival comes on 9, 10, 11 January! (in 2016)
|Daikoku Festival, Kanda Myojin, Tokyo, Japan|
Daikoku Festival (Daikoku Matsuri) is a festival of gods of good luck, which is seen only at Kanda Myojin Shrine. It has a long history and SO MANY visitors.
You will meet good-luck-welcoming priests at the main hall!
|The Main Hall – You see two Daikoku gods giving good luck to people!|
If you are a curious person who typically wanted to know who is in Mickey in your childhood, go to see them from right or left angle.
|He is performing as Daikoku!|
His ears proves that it’s a mask!
|Daikoku stone statue in Kanda Myojin|
We can see the Daikoku stone statue everyday, but the 3 days of Daikoku Festival are special. For example, Daikoku Festival original charms are available on these 3 days.
What should you get for souvenirs?
|Kanda Myojin’s Kumade Charm|
Kumade (= rake, shovel) charms are the symbol to collect good luck and money.
And I see many visitors holding this Daikoku Bamboo Charm in their hand. It is not too big, so it is easy to bring it home. If you get this, you have a souvenir that only the travelers who visited Kanda Myojin on 9, 10 or 11 January can get! How rare!
|Daikoku Bamboo Charm (Reads, “Daikoku Festival”)|
Tip: If you buy the Daikoku Bamboo charm, you can draw a lottery!
There are also events during Daikoku Festival.
Not only Special Prayer, there are Purification Ceremony and Cooking Knife Ceremony. I… I PERSONALLY push the Cooking Knife Ceremony… because the participants to Purification who bravely jump into icy water are wearing only… ah….. Anyway, both are undoubtedly interesting to see.
|Traditional Japanese Musical Band invited to Daikoku Fes|
We can also see traditional Japanese bands, traditional human & monkey performers, etc, invited for the festival.
|Saru Mawashi, Traditional Japanese Monkey Show|
If you plan to travel in Tokyo in January, I encourage you to keep Daikoku Festival in your mind.
And even when there is not a special festival, I proudly recommend Kanda Myojin Shrine to those who hope to visit a shinto shrine in Tokyo. Whatever your guidebooks say, Kanda Myojin is more than 1000 years older than Meiji Shrine in Harajuku, which is popular among international visitors these days, and has been loved so much by locals as you saw in this post. Trust a local blogger. You luckily found Tokyo Direct Guide.
You can catch real voices from me. Kanda Myojin Shrine in Akihabara. Do you remember?
Good luck to you!
See MORE of Kanda Myojin on Tokyo Direct Guide
- RARE Photos of Kanda Matsuri, a BIG Festival at Kanda Myojin Shrine – In May, once two years!
- A Pop Shrine?? – Kanda Myojin Shrine in Akihabara
- cf: Parades of Sanja Festival at Asakusa Shrine & Sensoji Temple, Japan – “Shrines” and “temples” are completely different in Japan. Did you know that? I’ve written about it in this post.
Practical Visitor Information to Kanda Myojin Shrine
Go to Ochanomizu or Akihabara Station first. Open The Easiest Train Map of Tokyo!
From Ochanomizu Station
Wherever in Tokyo you are now, catch a JR Chuo Line or JR Sobu Line train to Ochanomizu. Tokyo Station or Shinjuku Station are the easiest ways to understand.
It is a 5 minutes walk from the station.
From Akihabara Station
You can walk to Kanda Myojin from Akihabara, the town of electricity and otaku culture. A 7 minutes walk. JR Yamanote Line, Sobu Line, Keihin-Tohoku Line, Tsukuba Express and Hibiya Subway Line stop at Akihabara.
- Link to Google Maps
- Kanda Myojin Official Website
- Kanda Myojin Official Facebook
- Tokyo Direct Guide – All-In-One, The Quickest Travel Guide
- Event & Festival Calendar by TDG