I can still vividly remember my very first festival in Japan and how excited I was to witness something new and different but little did I know that I signed up for something unique and strange (really really strange😳).
On the last week of march 2015 and days before school was going to start, me and a bunch of students eagerly did some research on what to do in Japan ( we couldn’t wait for our adventure to begin in here) and “BOOM” the Penis Festival appealed to us.😂
Kanamara Matsuri (A.K.A Penis Festival, Fertility Festival or Festival Of The Steel Phallus) is a religious event that celebrates a legend of a sharp toothed demon who fell in with a beautiful maiden and hid inside her vagina when she did not return the same affection towards him.
The woman married twice and in both occasions on her wedding night when she and her husbands tried to consummate the marriage, the demon bit of their penises.
She then sought help from a blacksmith who made an iron phallus to break the demons teeth and upon insertion, the demons teeth were broken and left her for good.
This Festival happens every year on the first Sunday of April at Kanayama Shrine, Kawasaki, Kanagawa, Japan. The event starts from 11am to 4pm however due to its increasing popularity I suggest you go VERY early to avoid queuing up on long lines to the shrine entrance or food and merchandise stalls. Expect that the place will be very cramped by 12pm and it would be literally hard to move around.
Kanayama Shrine is a popular sites among sex workers to pray for protection from STDs. Among other beliefs the shrine also gives fertility blessings to married couples who would want to start a family of their own.
Look for this Penis mascot guy as you enter the shrine. He will surely make your day as you take photos with him.
The “Big Kanamara Mikoshi” they will carry this around the area during the parade. (Parade starts from 12pm- 1:30pm)
Here we have the famous pink penis named “Elizabeth” which was donated by Tokyo Drag Queen Club Elizabeth Kaikan, and will also be carried around the parade by trans-gender/ cross dressing festival partcipants.
Don’t forget to grab your very own Penis or Vagina Lollipops before leaving the shrine!😆 lastly be sure to wander around the festival grounds to see other shops and cultural displays.
The festival usually happens on the first sunday of April.