If you fancy experiencing a festival with a difference, then one to definitely check out is the Kanamara Festival Japan. Held at the Kanamara Shrine in the Kanagawa Prefecture, Tokyo, this festival is all about the phallus. The Shinto Kanamara Matsuri (which translates as “The festival of the Steel Phallus”) is a chance to get up, close and personal with artificial phalluses of many different shapes and sizes. Traditionally held on the first Sunday of April, the Kanamara Festival Japan has diversified from its sacred roots to become an exciting and fun-packed occasion which allows everyone to celebrate the penis as they wish.

The origins of the Kanamara Festival Japan date right back to the 1600s (which in Japan was known as the Edo Period). A legend is told that a hideous demon with razor sharp teeth (nice) tried to seduce a young girl, who (unsurprisingly) turned him down flat. Infuriated, the demon hid inside the vagina of the girl and then attacked to castrate not one, but two husbands during the wedding night nuptials. Determined not to be condemned to a life of enforced celibacy by a demon (and an ugly demon, at that), the bride enlisted the assistance of a blacksmith, who forged a magnificent metal phallus. This was used to good effect, enabling the young woman to break the demon’s teeth. The demon was so upset by losing its terrific pearly white smile that it fled, never to be seen again.

The success of the steel phallus in thwarting the antics of the demon led to it being enshrined at the place now known as the Kanayama Shrine in Kawasaki, Japan.For centuries after the Kanayama Shrine was constructed, it has been used by prostitutes to pray for protection against sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). The Shrine is also frequented by a range of other people who pray at the Shrine, requesting everything from happiness and fertility in their marriage to success in business. The annual festival has changed over the years and is now a popular tourist attraction, raising a considerable amount of money which is used for research into AIDS.

japan penis festival Japan Penis Festival - photo by Guilhem Vellut via Flickr under a CC BY 2.0 license

 

Visitors to the penis festival


have the chance to see some lively dancing followed by the blessing of several large (and we are talking truly awe-inspiring) phalluses, which are carried through the adjacent area as part of a big, rowdy procession. Many people wear fancy dress and bring their own phallic objects to display whilst the procession is taking place. Visitors can take part if they wish, so if you want to be part of an old Japanese tradition, pack that plastic penis and start booking your flight tickets.
 

japan penis festival

photo by Guilhem Vellut via Flickr under a CC BY 2.0 license.[/caption]

If you relish the opportunity of getting your lips round a tasty phallus, then there are plenty on offer. During the Kanamara Festival Japan, shops and stalls sell a wide range of phallus shaped sweets, cakes and lollies which give added interest to the occasion. For those of you who are keen to ensure you’re getting your 5-a-Day, some stalls also provide appropriately carved vegetables, giving you the chance of a healthy snack of suitably phallic design. For many people, it’s a great chance to get down and dirty with some deliciously welcome willie shaped wonders which are guaranteed to get those juices flowing.

When you’ve had your fill of phallic foodstuffs, it’s time to move on to browse the startling array of phallic souvenirs, objects d’art and intriguing penis-related items which range from the alluring to the, frankly, alarming. Penis-shaped ornaments, crockery, nick-nacks and much more allow even the most fervent dick devotee to max out their credit card on a selection of tempting goodies. There are also plenty of funny phallus items which would make great gifts for friends, colleagues and loved ones back home. What’s not to like about a penis-shaped candle?

japan penis festival

Japan Penis Festival - photo by SteFou via Flickr under a CC BY 2.0 license

The photo opportunities are spectacular, as phallus sculptures abound. Whether you embrace one, straddle it or strike an imaginative pose on a suitably contoured phallus statue, the Kanamara Festival Japan is a superb chance to rack up some unique selfies. Some of the most fantastic phallus sculptures may even be auctioned during the event, so you might end up with one to take home as a permanent memento.

As well as making money for an extremely good cause, the Kanamara Festival Japan provides a great insight into the amazing sense of humour which the people of this town possess. The Festival may not be for the more prudish of folk, but if you like a chuckle and want to experience a few days of unbridled ribald humour and plenty of penises, then it should definitely have a place on your calendar.


photo by Guilhem Vellut via Flickr under a CC BY 2.0 license.

 


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Every country needs a dick festival!

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