A Celebration of the Edo Spirit at the Kanda Matsuri
One of the three most important festivals in Japan, the Kanda Matsuri is also one very close to home for Nihombashi Mitsukoshi. Not only did the festival originate in the very heart of Edo, but it is also one which the store has participated in since the Edo era. The store even shoulders a mikoshi, portable shrine, that is joined by around 200 others and carried through the streets of Nihombashi and surrounding Kanda area. In Edo it quickly became such a spectacle for the city that it was decreed by the shogun himself that the festival could only be held in full biannually, making this year's festivities the perfect chance to see it for yourself.
The atmosphere of the festival reflects that of both the area and its people, renowned as Kanda is for its constant kinetic activity, and those born and raised in the area called "Edokko", children of Edo, known for their exuberance and energy. Nihombashi's own will be out on the street on the 13th and 14th during the festivities, with some of the store's stylists hoisting our beautifully adorned mikoshi shrine shoulder to shoulder with other members of the local community. Elsewhere throughout the festivities the storefront will be decorated in the traditional fashion honored since antiquity featuring over 750 lanterns bearing the names of participants, local business people, regional councils and enterprises, and so on, making this a celebration of the original city of Edo itself and its enduringly strong community spirit.
Elsewhere the festival packed is packed with people thronging the streets, and if you can't join them this year, then you can pay the hub of the festival, the Kanda Myojin temple a visit. There you will find a museum open on weekends and national holidays throughout the year where you can discover for yourself the history and scope of this festival that continues to be so important to the city of Tokyo.
*The photos shown above were taken in 2015.
May 11th - 17th, 2017
*This year the mikoshi will be passing through Mitsukoshi-mae in front of Nihombashi Mitsukoshi at approximately pm 4:30 on the 13th of May.
*The Mikoshi will be displayed at the Main Building Muromachi entrance until the 14th of May, but may be out during the festival for certain events.