Table of Contents
Kanamara festival (penis festival) in Kawasaki, Japan 2016.
Kanamara festival was held on April, 3 in 2016. I will describe a brief background of the festival and a brief report of Kanamara festival and tips to enjoy the festival.
About Kanamara festival.
Kanamara festival is held the first Sunday in April every year at Kawasaki-daishi, Kawasaki, Kanagawa. According to the event info,
The festival has been instituted to worship and deify the God of the blacksmiths since the Ero period.
Kawasaki’s ladies of the night prayed for success in business, prosperity, and to be blessed with offspring and easy and safe childbirth. Further they prayed for happy marriages, and so this festival began.
In recent years, this festival became famous internationally amongst the LGBT community as well.
Festival attendees today may pray for protection from AIDS and other STDs.
Women who are infertile may also visit the festival in hopes of being blessed with pregnancy.
We hold the festival on the first Sunday in April, around the anticipated flowering of the Cherry Blossom trees. We wish to express our gratitude for God’s gift, and to share fun and laughter. We trust that we will remain happy and prosperous all year.
Travel Guide and what to do.
The festival is held at Kanayama shrine, Kawasaki-daishi station.
Kawasaki-daishi station is on Keikyū Daishi Line. Here are some routes to get there.
From Toyko station
From Yokohama station
From Shinagawa station
Kanamara festival is very popular event among foreign travellers and Japanese locals, so you would expect that the day of the festival, Kawasaki-daishi station is very packed. I arrived at the festival around 11:00 o’clock. The station was already full of people. The festival officially starts at 10:00 a.m and ends 4:40 p.m. The schedule is below.
- 御火取祭 10：00 (Sacred fire)
- 例祭 10：15 (Main ceremony)
- 神輿御霊入れ式：10：45 (Mikoshi ‘a portable shrine which is a carriage for Gods.’)
- 大根削り：11：00 (Shave the Radish)
- 面掛行列：12：00 (masked-figures)
- 奉納演芸：12：10 (Dedicatory performance)
- 終了予定：16:30 (prospected ends)
If you arrived after the festival starts, it is very hard to get into the shrine, there are 500 meters of waiting line to get into shrine. (wait about 1 hour and half).
around 12:00 o’clock, the penis Mikoshi starts.
The pink penis is called Elizabeth mikoshi.
Candies in the shape of genitals.
A special feature of this event is not only the Mikoshi, but the genital shaped candies. Men, women, boys, girls, and children are sucking the genital shaped candies on this event. This is kind of surprising and interesting situation to experience in Japan.
Here is some photos of people enjoying the candy.
and kids too.
Tips to enjoy kanamara festival.
It is very hard to get those candies at the shrine, (near to the Kawasaki-daishi station) becasue there are already long line to get into the Shrine. You might expect to wait an hour. However, there is a place that those candies are sold. The map below shows that place. The right bottom, the park where the mikoshi stops and rest there, and you can get candies there. If you are late to the festival, you should go there straight unless you want to wait hours in the line outside doing nothing.
Lastly, here is the video of mikoshi near the park.