☆ i heart japan,  ☆ life

Living Tall in Japan, part 38

☆ To see all of the parts in this series, click here

The Penis Festival.
I mean, The Kanamara Matsuri.

Kanamara means, um.. literally means “metal penis.” Matsuri means “festival.”

So, yeah, Festival of the Metal Penis is what it means, and that’s pretty much what this is.

A crapload of people write about this festival, and if you don’t believe me, Google it. Lots and lots. I’ve been twice. Why, you ask?

Because, seriously, when else in your life are you going to get a chance to go to a Penis Festival?

I am not myself overly fond of that organ, but there are also vaginas paraded around on floats and on all of the merchandise you could ever want. Like lollypops.. yeah.

The Kanamara Matsuri is really just a lot of people gathering at a little shrine in Kawasaki (in the southern outskirts of the greater Tokyo area) to be silly, buy things (there are plenty of vendors in the courtyard of the shrine for the special day), and watch the parade. The star of the parade is a float of a giant 6-foot tall erect, pink phallus. This isn’t for kids. Or, rather it is. Because both times that I went, there were plenty of kids around. Go figure. 😉 

I sort of lost my taste (ha ha) for the festival after the second time, but on this, my first time, I was quite shocked. You’d think that I would have been used to Japan’s strange sexual tastes by now. I’d certainly accidentally seen enough already in the first 6 months!

The sad thing is, though, that I lost all of my photos from both times that I went. I suppose this is fate’s cruel way of saying that she just does not want me remembering those things. XD;

How about you, though? Would YOU go to a festival like this? Yes? No? I am so curious!

Just because I don’t have ANY pictures to show you, and it makes me profoundly sad (I’m sorry), I’m going to let you in on a little secret, though.

Soon after this, right as I’m getting completely fed-up with the roommate situation, three wondrous things happened:

1) The sakura bloomed.
2) I was offered a new job teaching in a real Elementary school.
3) I was invited to go to the JUMP offices and meet a real manga editor.

Barely 7 months had passed, and my first year in Japan was set to change my life in SO many ways. I hope you stick with me while I lay it all out! <3

Love you all, and see you tomorrow!! *^o^* I might talk about my new favorite books tomorrow, so you have been warned. Did you know that I’m an avid reader? If it wasn’t for reading, I’d have all of the time in the world.. but who would want to live like that? (not me!) *^o^*

(316 geeks have read this)

Hi! This is Jamie Lynn Lano! I am a Washington State (USA) native who: ☆ Holds a Bachelors of the Arts in Media Arts & Animation from AiPx. ☆ Worked as an assistant mangaka in Japan for Konomi Takeshi on The Prince of Tennis. ☆ Was an essay columnist for Asahi Weekly from 2008-2013. ☆ Was the star of Asahi Pop'n Press on Asahi TV (Japan) from 2009-2013 ☆ Was a write for Metropolis magazine in 2010. ☆ Has kept a blog foreeeeeeeeever! First and Current blogs.


  • zoomingjapan

    Just like you, I’ve been to the festival twice.
    The last time actually this month! 😉
    It has become insanely popular. It was so damn crowded. Much more than the last time I visited. And 80% of the visitors are foreigners! XD

    • Jamie Lynn Lano

      Yeah, I’d say that it was around 30% the first time that I went.. not surprised at all that it’s grown! Now it’s sort of infamous, and I imagine that Japanese people get tired of it after a while, lol. I do wish that I had my pictures, even if I’m not sure how much I’d want some of them to be taken out of context. XD

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