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Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Kanamara Festival 2009 Kawasaki

The annual phallic Kanamara festival is taking place this Sunday April 5 in Kawasaki, outside Tokyo.

The festival dates from the Edo Period when Kawasaki's ladies of the pleasure quarters instituted this celebration of the phallus both to encourage trade and to pray for protection from syphilis.

Today the main purpose of the festival is to pray for the conception of a healthy child. The previous preoccupation with syphilis has been replaced with the AIDS awareness campaign.

Large numbers of foreigners come to take part.


The festival is held at Wakamiya Hachimangu Shrine in Kawasaki. From Shinagawa Station in Shinagawa, Tokyo take a Keihin Kyuko train in the direction of Yokohama. Change at Keikyu Kawasaki Station to the Daishi Line train and ride three stations to Kawasaki Daishi Station.

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