Kanda Station 神田駅
History of Kanda
Kanda is a small station with a long history. It is located in the center of Tokyo, and a stone's throw away from the main Tokyo station. Literature lovers flock here to find what they are looking for in the many bookstores in the area.
From Manseibashi to Kanda
In Chiyoda Ward, Kanda Station was inaugurated on March 1, 1919, for the Chuo Line. At that time, the center of Tokyo was at Nihombashi, the nearest station. The first station named Manseibashi was built in 1912, but the great earthquake of 1923 destroyed it. It was completely rebuilt, in the same style of red brick, by the architect Tatsuo Kingo in 1923 on the current site of the large Tokyo station. Of this former Manseibashi station located between Kanda and Ochanomizu, all that remains are commemorative plaques and a low red brick building that now houses shops.
The construction of Kanda Station was an innovation from the outset. Its rails were arranged above the station made of brick arcades, like the Yurakuchô station, with small restaurants below, in which regulars can eat before returning home in the evening.
Only "local" trains then stopped there, not those traveling long distances.
In 1925, the trains of the Yamanote line finally mark the stop in Kanda, after the connection is made between Tokyo and Ueno.
From the platforms of the Yamanote in Kanda, surrounded by automatic security barriers, the space is restricted at the very end (in the direction of Tokyo). There is just enough room to have your hair done when a new JR E235 series arrives at the same time as an E233 from Keihin-Tohoku. But it's exhilarating and the view of the 6 lanes (with the Chuo line) running to Tokyo station is nice. As a bonus, there is the Tohoku shinkansen, a Japanese high-speed train, which passes right next to the new high-rise construction of the Tokyo-Ueno line.
By 2021, adaptation works are planned for the platforms of the Chuo line with the commissioning of longer trains with double-decker "Green Cars".
In 1931, the Ginza Metro line arrived at the station, which was then the first metro line on the Asian continent. For the 90th anniversary of the opening of this historic line, major renovations are being undertaken, while retaining the original architectural spirit of Kanda.
From Kanda, we are just 2 minutes from the big Tokyo station, but the atmosphere is very different between the two. Kanda is a more popular district and mainly for salarymen, with izakaya, tachinomiya, and soba.
Most remarkable around Kanda, and what makes it popular, are the 200 or so bookstores that dot its streets, 140 of which offer highly sought-after second-hand and old books. For 130 years, this literary district has attracted those who love books, as well as several schools, law universities, and major publishing houses. You will find them walking to nearby Jinbocho station.
- To read: Kanda, a literary district
On the spiritual side, the Kanda Myôjin sanctuary will allow you to rest your mind for a moment. Even if it bears the term "Kanda" this temple is located closer to Ochanomizu or Akihabara for its access. However, it is known for its festivities in May.
"Kanda Suda" is the neighborhood where it is good to fill the belly after having nourished the spirit. Here are some good addresses that are recognized and ranked at the highest level:
- Isegen, the specialist in monkfish, the tail of the fish also called monkfish, has been cooking it his way for 180 years. And it's the only one in Tokyo!
- Botan, chicken sukiyaki, again with an original recipe that has remained unchanged for 120 years. He uses "binchotan", charcoal, to heat an iron pot like in the good old days. A real ancestral Japanese tradition in the heart of the largest city in the world, who would have thought!
- Matsuya has been making soba since 1884 and yabusoba since 1880.
- Takemura is a tea room where you can enjoy Japanese pastries, the specialty of Age-manju (manju donut) at the top of the list.
- A special place to finish is the Kanda Chonko shop, in which you will find traditional objects of Japanese culture, and you will surely load your luggage to bring back the best memories.
Discover the Yamanote, Tokyo's iconic subway line:
- Tokyo station
- Nippori Station
- Uguisudani station
- Ueno Station
- Akihabara Station
- Shimbashi Station
- Hamamatsucho Station
- Tamachi Station
- Ebisu Station
- Harajuku Station
- Shinjuku Station
- Shin-Okubo Station
- Takadanobaba station
- Ikebukuro Station
- Otsuka Station
- Komagome Station
- Tabata station