A Harvest Festival Quite Like Any Other
The Honen Matsuri, also known as the penis festival, is an extraordinary event that takes place every year in the ordinary suburb of Komaki. This unique festival is held on March 15 and is celebrated at the Tagata-jinja Shrine, which is believed to be more than 1,000 years old. The Honen Matsuri is a combination of risque, religious, and a lot of fun. It is a festival that celebrates fertility and a bountiful harvest.
To get to the Tagata-jinja Shrine, located north of Nagoya City, you can easily access it by train. From Meitetsu Nagoya Station, head to Inuyama and then transfer to the Meitetsu Komaki Line. Tagata-jinja is just a five-minute walk from Tagata-jinja-mae Station. As you approach the shrine, make sure to have your camera at hand, as you will be greeted by a two-meter-long wooden phallus, which is the main attraction of the festival.
The Tagata-jinja Shrine is filled with many other phallus-shaped stones and statues. It is believed that rubbing these phallic objects brings good luck and fertility for the coming year. The festival starts at 10 a.m., and you can wander around the festival site, where you will find various stalls selling phallic souvenirs. Surprise your friends with phallic candies, cakes, cookies, and even chocolate-covered bananas. The attention to detail in these phallic-shaped treats is truly remarkable.
One of the highlights of the Honen Matsuri is the procession that takes place at around 2 p.m. During the procession, a 400-kilogram male appendage, carved from the trunk of a single cypress tree, is carried through the streets. It is a sight to behold and will leave you amazed. As you watch the procession, you can indulge in the free glasses of sake that are handed out to the spectators. Sake is a traditional Japanese rice wine and is an integral part of the festival.
If you happen to be in the area on the Sunday closest to the Honen Matsuri, make sure to visit the nearby Oagata Shrine. They hold a harvest festival that celebrates female genitalia. This festival is a counterpart to the Honen Matsuri and is equally unique and interesting.
While in Komaki, it is also worth visiting Komaki Castle. Although small in size, the castle holds great historical significance. It was built by Oda Nobunaga, a prominent figure in Japanese history, and was later the scene of a standoff between Toyotomi Hideyoshi and Tokugawa Ieyasu. The castle offers insights into japan‘s feudal period and is a must-visit for history enthusiasts.
Please note that the information provided may be subject to change due to COVID-19 restrictions. It is advisable to check the official website for the latest updates and guidelines before planning your visit.
In conclusion, the Honen Matsuri is a harvest festival unlike any other. It combines elements of risque, religious, and cultural traditions, making it a unique and memorable experience. From the phallic-shaped objects at Tagata-jinja Shrine to the grand procession of the wooden phallus, the festival offers a glimpse into Japanese folklore and beliefs. Whether you are interested in the cultural significance or simply want to witness something out of the ordinary, the Honen Matsuri is an event that should not be missed. Plan your visit to Komaki and immerse yourself in this extraordinary festival.
Address And Maps Location:
332-1 Komatsuji, Komaki-shi, Aichi-ken