Even being celebrated in around mid June every two years, is still one of the most famous festivals in Tokyo. Whilst Sanno Matsuri takes place in even years, the Kanda Matsuri is celebrated in odd numbered years. With parades scheduled and festivities for a week, we tried to catch the parade along the Imperial Palace but missed it. To not make another mistake on the parade route, we headed to the Hie shrine, where the parade finishes.
It’s almost impossible to think of a parade of 500 people on daytime in the streets of central Tokyo, but it happens. Roads are only partially closed, so traffic flows next to the parade. The mikoshi are carried along the city, with enough chances to spot the parade around Yotsuya, the Imperial Palace, past Tokyo station through Ginza, and surroundings of Hie Shrine. Make sure you’re in time with the parade schedule and the checkpoints, as they wait for no one. The starting and ending point of the parade is Hie Shrine.
How to get there
There are two lines to arrive to Akasaka Mitsuke station, the closest to Hie Shrine. The Ginza Line, and the Marunouchi Line. From Akasaka Mitsuke station, 8 minute walk to Hie Shrine. It’s located between buildings in a small hill, so pay attention to the large Japanese gate “torii” on the main street. Take the mechanical stairs from there to get near the entrance of Hie Shrine. Next Sanno Matsuri is scheduled for June 2018.