kanda

Chiyoda-ku

[Kanda] -The city of Edokko -

Kanda is a district in Chiyoda Ward, Tokyo. It's not a prime tourist area, but more of a local district with residential areas and old restaurants that luckily escaped damage during the war.

By the way, do you know what "Edokko" is?

"Edo" is an old name for "Tokyo", and "Edokko" is the word for people born and raised in Tokyo. They are said to be playful and cheerful, personable and warmhearted, but also stubborn and picky, etc. People who live in Kanda for a long time are often called Edokko. During "Kanda Festival" the spirit of these Edokko is overwhelming. It is held at Kanda Myojin shrine, which has a 1300 year history, and it is counted as one of the top three festivals in Japan. It started as a celebration of the victory of Tokugawa shogun, who started the Edo feudal government (AD1603-1868), and the celebration later became popularized as a festival. It is still a bustling festival with parades of more than 200 mikoshi (portable shrines), people dressed in colorful traditional costumes, and huge festival floats.

In addition, Ikenami Shotaro, an esteemed author of numerous historical novels, was an Edokko known to be particular about how his food tasted. Some of his favourite restaurants were in Kanda, and a soba restaurant he loved still remains today, more than 20 years after his death.

Understanding the character of Edokko is one of the essential factors to understanding Tokyo. Kanda is the right place to meet them and get a glimpse of their spirit.

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