Home
Back

Due to the coronavirus, the 2021 Kanda Matsuri, which was supposed to be celebrated in its full version this year, was held only as a "shadow festival", and all major events, including the procession and parades, were cancelled.

Held in mid May, the Kanda Matsuri is one of Tokyo's three most famous festivals, along with the Sanno Matsuri and Fukagawa Matsuri. The full version of the festival takes place only in odd-numbered years, while a highly simplified "shadow festival" is held in even-numbered years without attracting the attention of tourists. The Kanda Festival consists of numerous events held over an entire week, but the main action usually happens over the weekend closest to May 15. The highlights are a day-long procession through central Tokyo on Saturday, and parades of portable shrines (mikoshi) by the various neighborhoods on Sunday.

The festival started during the Edo Period (1603-1867). When the Tokugawa shogun began to rule the country from Edo (present day Tokyo), the festival was celebrated as a demonstration of prosperity under the new regime. Then, the Kanda Matsuri and the Sanno Matsuri were the only two festivals that were allowed to pass through the Edo Castle grounds. Both were originally held annually, but after competition between the two had grown too intense, they were eventually ordered to be held in alternate years only.

The Kanda Matsuri is the festival of the Kanda Myojin Shrine which enshrines three deities: Daikokuten, the god of good harvest and matrimony; Ebisu, the god of fishermen and businessmen; and Taira Masakado, a feudal lord of the 10th century who was revered and deified. Over the years, the Kanda Festival came to be a celebration for the wealth and good fortune of the people.

Saturday - Main Procession

In the evening before the main procession, Shinto rituals are held to invite the spirits of the shrine's three deities into three ornately decorated mikoshi. These portable shrines constitute the most important part of the procession that takes place on Saturday when they are paraded through the streets of Kanda, Nihonbashi, Otemachi and Akihabara. Accompanying the mikoshi are about a thousand people, including musicians, priests on horses, and many dressed in colorful traditional costumes.

The procession leaves Kanda Myojin Shrine at 8:00 in the morning. At around 10:30, a brief stop is made for prayers at the shrine's former grounds near the Tokyo Imperial Palace. The procession continues through the Otemachi and Kanda districts before a break for lunch is made around 13:30. After the procession resumes, it passes near the Nihonbashi Bridge and by the Nihonbashi Mitsukoshi department store at 16:30. It then proceeds along Chuo-dori Street through the Akihabara district before returning to the shrine around 19:00.

Also on Saturday, a secondary procession is held from later in the afternoon. It starts at 15:00 from close to the Arima Elementary School and proceeds north to the Kanda Myojin Shrine in about three hours. This procession features crowd favorites such as men on horses clad in samurai uniforms, festival floats with characters from popular folk stories and contemporary pop culture, musicians and dancers.

Sunday - Mikoshi Parades

On the following day, the spectacle continues with mikoshi parades by various neighborhoods in the Kanda and Nihonbashi districts. In line with custom, every neighborhood has a local guardian deity (ujigami) who looks after the community and their families. During the parades, the ujigami are temporarily housed in mikoshi (portable shrines) and walked through the streets to bless the local residents.

A good location to catch the activity is along the main approach to Kanda Myojin Shrine, since most of the mikoshi eventually make their way to the shrine. From around 8:00 to 17:30, the various neighborhoods with their respective mikoshi take turns to enter the shrine, resulting in streets full of vibrant colors, infectious festival music and a joyful atmosphere. Some neighborhoods in the Nihonbashi area do not visit the Kanda Myojin Shrine and instead parade their mikoshi only around their local districts.

Hotels around Tokyo

    • Sancoinn Grande Tokyo Hamamatsucho
      Enjoy each room's luxurious furnishings and attached bath/vanity in one of Tokyo's premier hotels. Just 25 minutes from Haneda Airport and also minutes from Tokyo Tower and Odaiba.
      View site
      Sponsored
Top rated in Tokyo
Budget:
    • Mokkoan
      Budget-friendly
      Featuring free WiFi and a hot tub, Mokkoan offers accommodation in Kita Ward, Tokyo. Private parking is available on site. Every room comes with a flat-screen TV with cable channels. Certain units have a seating area where you can relax. For your comfort, you will find slippers and free toiletries. You will find a shared kitchen at the property. The guest house also offers free use of bicycles. Yokohama is 37 km from Mokkoan, while Chiba is 41 km away. The nearest airport is Tokyo Haneda International Airport, 24 km from Mokkoan.
      View on Booking.com
      9.8Booking.com
    • HISAYO'S INN
      Budget-friendly
      Set in the Ota Ward district in Tokyo, 5 km from Tokyo International Airport Terminal No2 Observation Deck, HISAYO'S INN features air-conditioned rooms with free WiFi throughout the property. Each room has air conditioning and a safety deposit box. A shared kitchen comes with a refrigerator, stovetop, microwave, toaster and electric kettle. Bathrooms are shared and include free toiletries, towels, hairdryer, mouthwash and toothpaste. You will find a washing machine, tumble dryer and electrical adapter. Guests can try Japanese traditional haori jacket and have their photos taken free of charge. Rental bikes are available, and the staff can assist guests try on a yukata robe for female at a fee. Free luggage storage service is offered. Bike hire is available at this guest house and the area is popular for cycling. Oedo Onsen Monogatari is 8 km from HISAYO'S INN, while Fuji TV Odaiba is 9 km from the property. The nearest airport is Tokyo Haneda International Airport, 3 km from HISAYO'S INN.
      View on Booking.com
      9.6Booking.com
    • SOLA HOTEL
      Mid-range
      Located in Tokyo, near Kamejimashogakko Memorial Park, Kameido Tenjin Shrine and Umeyashiki Monument, SOLA HOTEL features free WiFi, and guests can enjoy a shared lounge and a terrace. Accommodation is fitted with air conditioning, a fully equipped kitchen, a flat-screen TV and a private bathroom with bidet, a hairdryer and free toiletries. A fridge and kettle are also provided. Popular points of interest near the aparthotel include Olinas Kinshicho Shopping Mall, Tobacco & Salt Museum and Gokinimono Museum. The nearest airport is Tokyo Haneda International Airport, 17 km from SOLA HOTEL.
      View on Booking.com
      9.6Booking.com
    • The Hideout Tokyo
      Mid-range
      The Hideout Tokyo is set in Tokyo. In a prime location in the Taito district, this cosy hotel is located 1.5 km from Sensoji Temple. JR Yamanote Uguisudani Station is just a 4-minute walk away. The compact rooms at The Hideout Tokyo are equipped with a seating area and a flat-screen TV. Rooms come with a private bathroom. Complimentary breads, banana and coffee are served every morning. Tokyo Skytree is 2.9 km from The Hideout Tokyo, while Edo Tokyo Museum is 2.9 km from the property. Tokyo Haneda International Airport is 18 km away.
      View on Booking.com
      9.5Booking.com
    • Sumida Nagaya
      Budget-friendly
      Sumida Nagaya is situated in Tokyo, an 18-minute walk from Tokyo Skytree. Well situated in the Sumida Ward district, this guest house is set 2.6 km from Sensoji Temple. The property is 3.4 km from Edo Tokyo Museum and 7 km from Marunouchi Building. The guest house is equipped with a kitchenette with an electric kettle, microwave, toaster and fridge. Every room comes with a shared bathroom with a bath. An simple Japanese breakfast with rice balls and miso soup or a simple cereal is available daily at the property upon prior reservation. The nearest airport is Tokyo Haneda International Airport, 18 km from Sumida Nagaya.
      View on Booking.com
      9.5Booking.com
    • The Barn Tokyo
      Mid-range
      Well situated in the Taito district of Tokyo, The Barn Tokyo is set 300 metres from Shikian, 300 metres from Calligraphy Museum and 400 metres from Tokugawa Tsunayoshi Mausoleum Imperial Scroll Gate. With a garden, the 3-star hotel has air-conditioned rooms with free WiFi, each with a private bathroom. The property is close to popular attractions like Kanei-ji Temple, Chosho-ji Temple and Kemmyo-in Temple. All guest rooms in the hotel are fitted with a kettle. The units in The Barn Tokyo are equipped with a flat-screen TV and a hairdryer. Popular points of interest near the accommodation include Nippori South Park, Tokugawa Ietsuna's Mausoleum Gate Plaque and Kuroda Memorial Hall. The nearest airport is Tokyo Haneda International Airport, 19 km from The Barn Tokyo.
      View on Booking.com
      9.5Booking.com
    • Resol Poshtel Tokyo Asakusa
      Budget-friendly
      Ideally set in Tokyo, Resol Poshtel Tokyo Asakusa offers air-conditioned rooms, a shared lounge and free WiFi. The property is around 400 metres from Asakusa Public Hall, 500 metres from Edo Taito Traditional Crafts Center and 600 metres from Sogenji Temple. The property is close to popular attractions like Kinryu Park, Hozomon Gate and Honpo-ji Temple. Popular points of interest near the capsule hotel include Asakusa ROX Shopping Center, Drum Museum and Kappabashi-dori Shopping Street. The nearest airport is Tokyo Haneda International Airport, 18 km from Resol Poshtel Tokyo Asakusa.
      View on Booking.com
      9.5Booking.com
    • Hostel Chapter Two Tokyo
      Budget-friendly
      Conveniently situated in the Taito district of Tokyo, Hostel Chapter Two Tokyo is located 60 metres from Komagatado, 500 metres from Kaminarimon Gate Senso-ji and 500 metres from Ekimise Asakusa. With a shared lounge, the 1-star hostel has air-conditioned rooms with free WiFi, each with a shared bathroom. The accommodation provides a shared kitchen, and luggage storage for guests. The hostel offers a terrace. Popular points of interest near Hostel Chapter Two Tokyo include Hozomon Gate, Chiisanagarasunohonno Museum and World Bags and Luggage Museum. The nearest airport is Tokyo Haneda International Airport, 17 km from the accommodation.
      View on Booking.com
      9.4Booking.com
    • No Borders Hostel
      Budget-friendly
      Located in Tokyo, 700 metres from Togoshi-ginza Shopping Street, No Borders Hostel provides air-conditioned rooms and free bikes. Among the facilities at this property are a shared kitchen and a shared lounge, along with free WiFi throughout the property. The property is close to popular attractions like Meguro Fudoson Ryusen-ji Temple, Kaifukuji Temple and Yakushi-ji Tokyo Annex Temple. All guest rooms in the guest house are fitted with a kettle. The shared bathroom is equipped with a shower and a hairdryer. Guest rooms will provide guests with a microwave. Popular points of interest near No Borders Hostel include Remy Gotanda Shopping Mall, Anyo-in Temple and Musashi Koyama Shopping Street Palm. The nearest airport is Tokyo Haneda International Airport, 9 km from the accommodation.
      View on Booking.com
      9.4Booking.com
    • Palace Hotel Tokyo
      Luxury
      Situated right in the heart of Marunouchi business district, Palace Hotel Tokyo is 5-star luxury accommodation boasting 7 restaurants, a spa and a free-access fitness centre and indoor swimming pool. It is directly connected to Otemachi Subway Station and an 8-minute walk from JR Tokyo Station. Free WiFi is provided in the entire area. Offering elegant and chic ambience, each spacious room comes with a large LCD TV, a blu-ray/DVD player and a safety box. A fridge and an electric kettle are also provided. The en suite bathroom includes a small TV, a bath tub and toiletries. While staying at Tokyo Palace Hotel, guests can enjoy a workout at the fitness gym, or receive rejuvenating treatments at the on-site Evian Spa Tokyo. The concierge desk can arrange various services for guests including mobile phone rentals. Tablet rentals, copy and fax services are available for an extra charge upon request at the front desk or club lounge. Guests can enjoy authentic Japanese culinary experiences in Wadakura restaurant, Tatsumi tempura restaurant and Kanesaka sushi restaurant. Crown offers exquisite French cuisine and the city views, while Grand Kitchen serves international dishes throughout the day. Located right next to the Imperial Palace, the hotel is a 10-minute walk from Ginza shopping area, and a 5-minute train ride from Akihabara electric town. Popular Tsukiji Fish Market can be reached within a 10-minute taxi ride. Airport limousine buses are available to/from Narita and Haneda airports at an extra charge.
      View on Booking.com
      9.4Booking.com
    Show More