On the first Sunday of April, a strange event is held. One that is known to be the one that attracts more foreigners in Japan: Kanamara Matsuri A.K.A “Penis Festival“.
At Kanayama Shrine, in the heart of Kawasaki, people pray for good sex life, fertility and protection from STDs. But today, they go all out parading the star of the shrine – a giant pink steel penis– and creating a festival around it, from which all earnings are destined to HIV research.
Both snacks (bananas, hot dogs, popsicles) and merchandising (???????????? galore) go along the theme, with both guys and girls embracing the tradition. And no one even blushes during Kanamara Matsuri. It’s for a good cause after all!
- Go early and be ready to queue for everything – from getting into the shrine to buying popsicles.
- The giant steel penis is paraded and away from the location for most part of the festival – today it came back at 14:30.
- If you fancy a wonderful shrine with less people but more food and beautiful cherry blossoms, go to Kawasaki Daishi -only five minutes away from Kanayama Shrine.
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