Cherry blossoms and Kanamara Festival flags in Kawasaki, Japan.
Visit the Kanamara Penis Festival
Kawasaki, a name that normally resonates ‘motorcycles’ is a town less than an hour from Tokyo by train and a place that resonates with ‘genitalia’ in early April when a local Shinto shrine or jinja holds a colourful and hilarious one day festival to pray for safe sex – the Kanamara Matsuri or ‘Festival of the Steel Penis’.
Mikoshi – portable shrines – awaiting a priestly blessing in front of the Kanamara Shrine
This spring event has been banging away for 300 years now, initiated by local prostitutes seeking protection from sexually transmitted diseases but these days supported by the whole community in a typically guilt-free Japanese celebration of genitalia, fertility and good-natured fun.
Transvestites, gays, couples, grandmothers, hawkers and of course curious gaijin (foreigners) mix together to suck on genital lollies, pose with vast whangs, buy erotic trinkets, bid for hand-carved radish dongs and drink plenty of beer under the blue skies (with luck) and white blossoms of a Japanese spring. Shrine profits go to Aids benefits.
Mikoshi leaving Kanamara shrine gateway for a bounce around the underpants of Kawasaki.
Japanese people have a surprisingly relaxed attitude to the sexual business, probably not unconnected with the liberal attitude of Japan’s predominant religions, Buddhism and its Shinto variant.
Philosophers say that Shame is the driving force of Japan, as opposed to Christian Guilt, so we have to assume that there is no shame attached to the attractions of a giant dick.
A sensational Kodo band follows a western style rock band, and all for free.
This festival starts about 11am and becomes distinctly flaccid around sunset, weather-permitting.
A Tokyo resident experiencing oral satisfaction in Kawasaki.
The Tagata shrine (jinja) Komaki, Japan, engages in similar social intercourse to Kanamara – though with bigger equipment – at the Hounen Penis Fertility Festival, aka Chiwawa Matsuri, annually on March 15. Komaki is less than an hour by train from Nagoya.
Also see the less erotic but more elaborate and historical Takayama Spring Festival or photos of Tokyo Cherry Blossom time in Shinjuku Gyoen park.