Kanda Myoujin, a shrine for the businessmen and techie-loving Akiba locals
Considered as “the world’s geekiest temple,” CNN Travel nailed it right on the spot when they spoke for the contemporary image of Kanda Myojin in Akihabara, an ancient temple established more than a thousand years ago for the gods of fortune and the warriors. Now, it serves its purpose as a charm-and-luck hub for business men and for techie-loving Akiba locals seeking for fortune and gadgets-protection.
The shrine was built to house three mighty gods, warrior Taira no Masakado, Ebisu (a god of the fisherman and merchants) and Daikokuten (a god of trade and commerce). When Ebisu and Daikokuten are paired; both magnify the power of luck and fortune. So businessmen, working professionals, common employees and skilled workers head to the temple to worship the gods of fortune for personal economic stability and good returns in their businesses.
In parallel to the change of times, the lifestyle of its location and the demand of the locals, the shrine has refocused its so-called “function” in the society from a warrior’s temple to a tech-lover’s sanctuary for charms in Tokyo’s highly computerized environment and time. Hence, several local techie youth seek for blessings and protection for their gadgets and electronics against theft and accidental damages, and even for their PC’s to be protected from viruses.
The Kanda Myojin is a pleasant sight to behold with its traditional Japanese façade, East Asian hip-and-gable roof, or as Japanese call it “irimoya” and vermillion-covered interior, decorated and accented with gold and lacquer. The temple’s presence in the modern day Akihabara creates a unique feeling of peacefulness and comfort to both the locals and tourists, which sets them apart from the usual bustling, geeky and weird image of Akihabara. With Japan’s long record of calamities and disasters, including the historical World War II, the 1,270-year-old Shinto shrine has undergone several restructuring, relocation, restoration and rebuilding in its lifetime.
Kanda Myojin is 650-meter away from the Ochanimizu Station on Chiyoda Line, just a stop away from the Akihabara Station. Take the B1 Exit and head straight pass the bridge over the river until you reach the next traffic light, then take the right road. You will see the temple on the left side. But if you’re up for a good sweat, you can also take a 13-minute walk from the JR Akihabara Station.
To know about their visiting and business hours, you may check their website (though, it’s in Japanese) at http://www.kandamyoujin.or.jp/ or contact them at 03-3254-0753. You may visit the shrine at 2-16-2, Soto-Kanda in Chiyoda.