Kanda Matsuri

Kanda Matsuri

Kanda Matsuri, also known as Kanda Festival, is a massive event that happens once every two years. Kanda Festival is Tokyo’s biggest event in Japan’s top three major events.  Kanda matsuri is a two-day celebration in mid-May (Saturday and Sunday).

But what’s the story behind this festival, its historical significance, and how do people celebrate it? You’ll learn all about these things in this article.

If you are interested in learning about more Japanese Festivals/ East Asian Holidays then click on the given link Japanese Festivals/ East Asian Holidays

What’s the Kanda Matsuri Festival?

The Kanda Matsuri Festival is a culturally rich celebration in Tokyo, Japan. It’s a grand event every two years in mid-May, bringing together a dazzling array of traditions, processions, and festivities. Kanda Matsuri celebration takes place to honor the guardian deity of Tokyo and showcases centuries-old rituals through lively parades, ornate floats, and captivating performances.

Let’s kick things off by diving into the festival’s roots and how it all began.

What’s The History of the Kanda Festival?

Kanda Matsuri

Kanda Festival is a celebration that’s been part of Tokyo’s story for over 400 years. Originating in the Edo period, it honors the guardian deity of Tokyo. Every two years, this festival brings together more than a million people to witness its vibrant processions, including over 100 beautifully decorated portable shrines called ‘mikoshi.’ Throughout its history, Kanda Matsuri has evolved alongside Tokyo, symbolizing the city’s rich cultural heritage and spiritual significance.

Now, if you’re considering experiencing this lively event, let me guide you on where it’s held and how you can get there.

Location of Kanda Matsuri festival and How to get there?  

Kanda Matsuri

Kanda Matsuri festival primarily occurs in the Kanda and Akihabara areas of Tokyo. These districts are easily accessible via the following ways:

Location: Kanda and Akihabara areas of Tokyo

  • Train/Subway: The nearest stations to the festival area are usually Ochanomizu Station, Akihabara Station, and Kanda Station. These stations are served by multiple train and subway lines, such as the JR Yamanote Line, JR Chuo Line, Tokyo Metro Ginza Line, and others.
  • Bus: Some bus routes also operate in the vicinity, offering an alternative mode of transport to reach the festival area.
  • Taxi: Taxi are readily available throughout Tokyo and can drop you off near the festival grounds.

The festival typically encompasses several streets in the Kanda and Akihabara neighborhoods, with specific shrines and areas hosting different parts of the event. During the festival days, signage and guidance from locals can assist in finding the main sites and procession routes. I advise you to check the festival schedule and any transportation updates for a hassle-free experience.

Now, let’s talk about the dates of the Kanda Matsuri festival.

When is the Kanda Matsuri Festival celebrated?

The Kanda Matsuri Festival is anticipated to occur in mid-May and spans eight days. It adheres to a schedule of only taking place in odd-numbered years. Therefore, following the festival in 2023, the upcoming dates are:

Kanda Matsuri 2023: Celebrated in mid-May for an eight-day duration.
Hiatus in 2024: The festival won’t occur in this even-numbered year.
Kanda Matsuri 2025: The next celebration is projected to take place in mid-May, resuming the biennial pattern.

Schedule of the Kanda Matsuri Festival


The Kanda Matsuri Festival, an iconic Tokyo event, emerges every two years, filling the streets with liveliness during May. It’s a spirited celebration honoring Tokyo’s guardian deity, boasting vibrant processions where locals carry stunning portable shrines amid bustling streets. This festival becomes a harmonious blend of ancient traditions and a collective spirit, painting the city with joy and reverence.

What does Kanda Matsuri celebrate?

Kanda Matsuri celebrates the victory of Ieyasu Tokugawa in the battle of Sekigahara. It’s a festival in Japan that honors Tokugawa’s triumph, which helped him become the shogun and establish the Tokugawa shogunate. People celebrate with lively parades, traditional music, and colorful floats, making it a vibrant cultural event.

What do they eat at Kanda Matsuri?

At Kanda Matsuri, people eat kushiyaki dango, which is a snack made from mochi, and oyaki, a dumpling filled with things like anko or red bean paste. These tasty treats are enjoyed by festival-goers during the celebrations.

What is the Matsuri festival?

The Matsuri festival is a celebration in Japan that includes many different kinds of ceremonies, both for civic events and religious occasions. It’s a time when people come together to participate in traditional customs, enjoy food, music, and performances, and celebrate their culture and heritage.

What is the biggest festival in Japan?

The biggest festival in Japan is Gion Matsuri. It’s a grand celebration held in Kyoto, featuring vibrant processions, traditional floats, and performances. People from all over Japan come to experience this famous festival, which has been celebrated for over a thousand years.

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