Aside from anime, game and manga culture, Japan is known for its traditional side as well. What makes Japan unique is that they tend to not separate traditional and modern, which often coexist in the same street.
Tokyo has a large number of shrines visited by thousands of tourists every year. There are a few in Akihabara, too hidden between electronics retailers and hobby shops.
This article is about Kanda Myoden, Koubu Inari Shrine and Hanabusa Inari Shrine.
We will start with the shrine which is one of the most visited tourist spots in Tokyo, Kanda Myoden. It was erected in 730 which makes it more than 1300 years old. Here resides an old deity that is said to have protected warriors and common people. 108 Tokyo districts are under its protection, including Akihabara, Kanda, Nihonbashi, Ootemachi, Marunouchi and Tsukiji.
Three deities live here:
- God of matchmaking Daikoku
- God of business prosperity Ebisu
- God that wards off calamities Masakado
Recently, Kanda Myoden had an appearance in a popular anime series Love Life and since then it became the first anime holy place. This brought a lot of anime fans from all around the world. To cater to its new customers, Kanda Myoden started selling collaboration and anime goods. You can even find lucky charms with characters illustrated on them.
Unusual for a big city, the shrine is quite large and welcomes many visitors every day. It is especially crowded for New Year holidays.
Sotokanda, Chiyoda Ku, Tokyo To, 101-0021, Japan
- 8 minutes from Suehiro-cho Station
- 8 minutes from Ochanomizu Station
- 9 minutes from Shin-ochanomizu Station
Koubu Inari Shrine
Next is Koubu Inari Shrine.
Even though is only a 4-minute walk from JR Akihabara station it is build in a quieter part of Akihabara, separated form busy streets of the Electric Town.
It is surrounded by regular office buildings so be careful not to miss it.
1-9-2, Sotokanda, Chiyoda Ku, Tokyo To, 101-0021, Japan
Hanabusa Inari Shrine
Hanabusa Inari shine is a rather unknown, rather hidden shrine. It is just 5 minutes from JR Akihabara station, located in a narrow side street which makes it a bit difficult to find.
Here are detailed directions to the shrine.
Turn your back to it and enter a narrow street. It is more a small passage between buildings than a real street.
Just keep going strait and you should see Hanabusa Inari on your left side.
It is a bit small compared giant Kanda Myoden, but it is a nice hidden gem that not many tourists know exist.
4-4-5, Sotokanda, Chiyoda Ku, Tokyo To, 101-0021, Japan