Kanda Myojin Shrine

Whats Nearby:

One of the few Shrines that survived the WWII bombing, the Kanda Myojin has existed in its current form since 1934. (when it was rebuilt after being burned down by the fires of the Great Kanto Earthquake) The shrine was originally built over one thousand six hundred years ago.

Its area is rather large with several back streets and houses three main Gods as well as several other lesser Gods.

The Journey

The suggested route to take is the Marunouchi Line to the Ochanomizu Subway Station (less then ten minutes away), and then head north by foot. The first thing you will find is a huge green copper Torii (a rare site!) on the street entrance, which then leads you on an up-hill walk straight into the shrine.


At the top of the hill you'll arrive in front of the Shrine's Gate, the Zuishin-mon. This structure's startling and vibrant design is inspired by the architecture of "Gongen-zukuri" shrine style.

Main Hall

Once through the Zuishin-mon you'll be in the center of the Shrine, with the main hall directly ahead and on the left a building with talismans, charms, emas and other items for sale.

The first thing that will strike you is the sheer brightness and boldness of the structures. Glowing reds and greens, accented with black and gold make for a dazzling picture.

Behind the talismans building, you'll find a narrow street, with shrine after shrine, one right after another. These are for the lesser Gods. Each shrine has a different design, some traditional with wood and stone, and some more modern with bright red and metal.


Arguably the most interesting and definitely the most amusing thing you'll find at the Kanda Myojin are the 'ema' which church goers write and hang up. They are essentially small wooden plaques which are purchased at the Shrine, and then you write on it your wish, and hang it up with all the rest of them. Some parishioners just write in plain writing their wish and that's all. But others go to the great length of drawing terrific pictures as the background for their ema.

And so, at the Kanda Myojin, on the right side of the main hall, near the back you'll find a wall, with racks of ema, and displayed proudly in the front of each rack are ema with professionally drawn Japanese Manga (comic) pictures (along with their wishes as well) by the local worshipers. It’s as if everyone one who wrote one is a professional artist! Next door is Akihabara the manga/anime capital of Japan. Is there a connection?

You don't have to feel left out; you yourself can make one or buy a pre-designed ema at the Shrine. (The Meiji Shrine has many ema written by foreigners of all matter of countries in all matter of languages)

How to get to the Kanda Myojin Shrine

Marunouchi Line - Ochanomizu Subway Station. Walk North North East, for less than under ten minutes. It is directly behind the Yushima Seido Temple.

It is conveniently a ten minute walk away from Akihabara.

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