Kawasaki Fertility Festival and the Kawasaki Daishi Area

Viewer’s discretion is advised. 😀

This just in.

Yesterday, I went to witness a unique festival.


Why is it unique? …


Yes, it is what you think it is.

  • The Shinto Kanamara Matsuri, “Festival of the Steel Phallus”, is held each spring at the Wakamiya Hachimangu in Kawasaki, Japan. The event falls on the first Sunday of April. The penis, as the central theme of the event, is reflected in illustrations, candy, carved vegetables, and a mikoshi parade.





  • The Kanamara Matsuri is centered around a local penis-venerating shrine once popular among prostitutes who wished to pray for protection from sexually transmitted diseases. It is said that there are also divine protections for business prosperity and for the clan’s property; and for easy delivery, marriage, and married couple harmony.

I usually would stay around for this kind of event to witness everything but it was so crowded for such tiny main area.


  • Shrine dedicated to Emperor Nintoku, the god of reclamation, in the hope of controlling the waters of the Tama River.

Plus, it’s a parade anyways. You stick around to one spot of the parade route and you’d see the majority of the event.

Instead, I explored the grounds of Kawasaki Daishi Heikenji Temple.


  • The head temple of Shigonshu-Chisan Buddhism, famous for the miraculous and protective saint that eliminiates and prevents all troubles and accidents.

I loved it here! So much tastes, sights and sounds to observe, absorb, relish and enjoy.



  • Nakamise Dori is a street pack lined of stalls selling rock sweets, kuzu mochi, and daruma dolls for souvenir.



  • Hakkaku Gojunto (five-storied pagoda) was completed to celebrate the 1150th anniversary of the death of Kobo Daishi in 1984. It symbolizes expansiveness and integrity.


Yes, cherry blossoms are starting to, for the lack of a better word, blossom.


  • The statue of Henro Daishi was constructed as a project to commemorate the 1200th anniversary of the birth of Kobo Daishi in 1973. Many believers wishing to have strong legs come to the temple.


Last calls…





  • Today, Kawasaki Fertility Festival is used to raise money for HIV research.

37 replies »

    • I only heard about from another blogger, read about from way back when. I never really thought I got to witness it my own. Thanks for the comment and visit.

  1. Wow. This was quite an eye opener. I had this idea in my mind of Japanese people being overly polite and reticent, the way they bow to one another etc.. This myth has been shattered once and for all by your lollipop photos. 😀 Love the cherry blossom/pagoda capture. What a festival! Thanks for sharing.

  2. That is so interesting! It isn’t a surprise that they have a fertility festival; as I’ve seen, several cultures in Asia have temples for such as well where they pray to a bronze phallus, but what surprised me was the lolly! That aside, your photos are stunning.

  3. See that mask worn by the person under the big hat in your first shot? I’ve seen classic Japanese paintings of how lesbians would wear the mask over their pubic areas as a prosthetic penis during sexual intercourse. Most westerners don’t realize the double use of such masks when they see them typically worn on faces.

    • WOW, Allan. You really do know a lot. I remember your comments when I was in Okinawa. You might as well present my posts. Ahihihi 🙂 It’s a compliment, by the way.
      I actually submitted that particular photo for a contest here. Oooops 😀

  4. Can you imagine the scandal that would occur in the USA is some town did this?! On the other hand, we venerate male gratification at drunken parties and in the movies. Did they pass out condoms as well as pray for protection from sexually transmitted diseases? Oscar

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