Along with the Gion Festival in Kyoto and the Tenjin Festival in Osaka, the Kanda Festival is said to be “one of the three major festivals in Japan”. It is held in the Kanda area centered on Kanda Myojin (Kanda Shrine) in Kanda, Chiyoda-ku. It is held seven days in the middle of May each year. There are two Kanda festivals: the lively “Hon Matsuri” (Main Festival), which takes place in odd-numbered years, and the “Kage Matsuri” (Small Festival), which takes place informally in even-numbered years. 2019 is the year of the bustling “Hon Matsuri”.
It is also known that Tokugawa Ieyasu sent servants to Kanda Myojin prayer before the war, and after achieving reunification, he contributed to Main Shrine Hall and Mikoshi (portable shrine) (late 16th century-early 17th century Around).
In addition, Kanda Myojin Shrine is also said to have benefits such as marriage, business prosperity, aversion, and every game.
The “Kanda Matsuri Festival” was also called the “Tenka Matsuri” (World Festival) because it was an Edo Shogunate official festival. It is a festival full of attractions, such as the majestic large procession and the powerful “Mikoshi Miyairi”.
The “Shinko-sai Festival” is a shrine dedicated to the Kanda Myojin Shrine, consisting of three the horen (imperial carriage) and the mikoshi (portable shrine) and a procession that travels through 108 towns and cleans the town. Mikoshi will travel to Kanda, Nihonbashi, Otemachi, Marunouchi and Akihabara. The procession that departed from Kanda Myojin Shrine at 8 o’clock will be held near 13 o’clock in the vicinity of East Japan Bridge Station to perform a deity. You can see three the horen and the mikoshi at a time until around 14:20 when the afternoon part starts. After that, the procession is resumed and arrives at Mitsukoshi Main Store in Nihonbashi at around 16:00. From here, Mikoshi, Festival Float, samurai procession, etc. are added, and the procession scale becomes several thousand. Tokyo downtown is dyed in full color at the festival. Everyone returns to Kanda Myojin Shrine around 19 o’clock.
While “Shinko-sai Festival” is a deity walking through the town, “Mikoshi Miyairi” is an event where Mikoshi in each town aims for Kanda Myojin Shrine. The shrines of each area visit the shrine to Akira Kanda in turn. Area Togyo where Mikoshi of each town goes around in their own town is performed, and the various places of town are cleaned.
The Kanda Matsuri Festival is the annual festival of Kanda Myojin in Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo, and performed in May every year.
Along with the Sanno Matsuri Festival and the Fukagawa Matsuri festival, is counted by one of the three major festivals of Edo, and it is also ranked in one of the Japan’s three biggest festivals with the Gion Matsuri festival of Kyoto, the Tenjin Matsuri Festival of Osaka.
In a grand festival once in two years, the “Shinko-sai Festival”, whic going round the big parade of several thousand scales with the horen (imperial carriage) and the mikoshi (miniature shrine), is performed in the downtown area.
And “Mikoshi Miyairi” (the entry of the portable shrine into the shrine’s premises after the visits), which more than 200 mikoshi of different sizes parade with a big shout, is also performed. It is crowded with many tourists during the period of the festival over one week.
In the “Shinko-sai Festival” being Main Shinto Rituals of this festival, the line consisting of “horen of ichino miya”, “mikoshi of nino miya”, “horen of sanno miya” where there was Myojin on, goes round Kanda or Nihonbashi. It is a dynamic spectacle. In addition, the “Shinji-noh” (a category of Japanese Noh theater) of the Kanda Myojin’s tradition is seen, and various Shinto ritual is carried out during a period.
In “Mikoshi Miyairi”, the town is divided into eight areas and each mikoshi is dedicated to Kanda Myojin.
At first mikoshi round each district and leaves afterwards for Kanda Myojin.
The mikoshi of each district is spectacular and there are various mikoshis and floats like “Taiko Dashi” (a float of Japanese drum) which succeeds the culture of the Edo period as it was, “Hagoromo Ningyo Dashi” (a float of Robe doll), the woman mikoshi which are shouldered only by a woman etc.
Kanda Matsuri Festival is famous now, but actually, does not seem to be known the origin clearly.
From when did it come to be carried out in the long history of Kanda Myojin? After the Edo era, it became Taisai (Grand Festival) like now, however, it is said that the festival was performed before that.
|Name:||Kanda Matsuri Festival|
|Address:||Sotokanda 2-16-2 Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 101-0021 Japan|
|Access:||JR Chuo-sen Line “Ochanomizu-eki Station” (5 minutes walk)|
|Tel:||(+81) 3-3254-0753 (Kanda Myojin Shrine)|