Honen Matsuri (a PG rated post…)

“The penises came out two by two – hurrah! Hurrah!”

Erm.. yes.  Today I went to a penis festival. Well, actually, today I went to the Honen Matsuri (豊年祭) at Tagata Shrine, near Komaki (near Nagoya).  ‘Honen Matsuri’ is Japanese for ‘Harvest Festival’, but this is a fertility festival, where the main theme seems to be penises. That’s not how they did harvest festivals when I was at school!

Basically, the festival centres on a parade in which a 2.5 metre-long wooden penis is carried from Kumano-sha Shrine (on odd numbered years, such as 2009) to Tagata Shrine.

(I thought this was a country where pictures of pubic hair were banned?!)


(Check out the woman on the right in the red jacket  She has such a wonderfully naughty expression on her face!)


(These dudes were super-genki! Especially the guy with the beard!)


(…and there it is…)


Unfortunately, the parade itself was painfully slow and incredibly dull. They didn’t stop the traffic entirely, so we had to keep waiting for cars to go by.  It was very well organised, but oh so slow!

So, the parade was enough to bore us into going home, but before the parade begun we had a chance to sample the festival food.  Being a non-pig-eater, I opted for a yummy jacket potato (which I’m happy to say I can now successfully eat with chopsticks!), but I’m happy to say my friend went for a penis shaped hot dog!


We also saw, but didn’t sample (due to the massive queue!) penis shaped choco-bananas!

The souvenirs were very amusing…

Here we have candy penises, and I think the ones on the right come with candy vaginas too!  Bonus.

But, my personal highlight of the festival was a spontaneous act of a stranger…

Thank you, random Japanese guy, for entertaining the crowds by straddling the wooden penis!  😀

6 thoughts on “Honen Matsuri (a PG rated post…)

  1. Stumbled onto your site when searching for Honen Matsuri. Needless to say, your pictures are amazing. I wonder how heavy the penis is that they’re carrying. Haha.


  2. As odd as this is to me, I know I would enjoy it so much and would definitely put it on my top 10 list of things to experience.


  3. My mum would love these photos.. would you mind if I send them to her– she really wanted to go to the festival.. obviously they have a VERY active.. ______ life, mum and dad… goodness “shuts, eyes and closes ears”!


  4. Hi there,

    I love this festival.

    I’ve been more then 10 times (and i don’t even live in Japan) It’s such fun.

    Peni, sake, dancing down the street with them, lot’s of rude food with lots of fun folk, then mochi thowing/ducking. I always bring friends and they have a blast.

    I bought & set up my own little good luck tagata sinto shrine at home (for all the good it did) Seriously, it’s for fertility, including the all important rice crop. How magical…If you haven’t had a chance, go to the vagina shrine: 10 minutes from the penis shrine..It’s lovely and serene, cherry blossems etc. Just beautiful.


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