Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Culture Note #3: What is Kanamura matsuri (aka the penis festival!)

Hey all,

Sorry for the delay in recent posts. It's mid-terms time, and I can't write as many posts as I would like. I will be moving this blog to tokyosurvival.com soon, so look forward to it! For now, please enjoy and attend the Kanamura festival.^_^ I attended it last year and it was great!

Warning: there will be 70%+ gaijin attending.


What: Kanamara Matsuri (Festival of the Steel Phallus)
When: April 5 (Sunday)
Where: Kawasaki, Kanagawa

Start time: 10:30AM(it is best to go earlier)
End time: 4:30PM

Nearest station: Kawasakidaishi (Keikyu line)
Direction: Take the south exit and follow the Gaijin crowd. Kanayama shrine is just a minute walk from the station.

The Kanamara Matsuri, also called Festival of the Steel Phallus, or in layman's term "Penis festival", is an annual Shinto fertility festival held in Kawasaki, Japan in spring. The penis is the central theme of the event, and it decorated in every aspect of the festival; in illustrations, candy, carved vegetables, decoration, a parade of mikoshis, etc.

There is a huge 4 foot tall penis permanently at the shrine year round.

The best part about this festival is that it is right next to a kindergarten school o_o

Note: Not too many Japanese people know about this festival, it is more popular in foreign countries, so be careful who you speak to this about this wild festival. You might still get odd looks if you flaunt your pictures. ENJOY!

Check URL's for:
* Train times & connections
* Weather forecast
* Kanamara festival
* Photos

(some of this information was copied from a Tokyo Gaijin e-mail)


  1. Reannon said...

    That's totally true about Japanese ppl not knowing about it...I told my Japanese co-workers I was going and they had no idea what I was talking about. They didn't believe me when I told them that it was a real festival!