Japanese Bizarre Fertility / Harvest Festivals
Fertility and harvest festivals are organized every year all over Japan.
Famous Fertility / Harvest Festivals in Japan
*Matsuri means festival
- Hōnen Matsuri [豊年祭] in Aichi
Hōnen festival is held annually on March 15, celebrating good harvest, prosperity and fertility. For more information read below.
- Hodare Matsuri [ほだれ祭] in Niigata
Hodare festival is held every year on the second Sunday of March.
This festival features newly married wives riding the Japan’s largest wooden penis (1322 lb / 600kg) which is carried by men during the parade.
People believe touching wooden phallus can bring marital bliss, fertility and good luck.
- Kanamara Matsuri [かなまら祭り] in Kanagawa
Kanamara festival is held annually on the first Sunday of April. It is believed to promote prosperity and fertility. The pink giant penis named Elizabeth in procession is the highlight of the festival.
Harvest festival – Hōnen Matsuri in Aichi
Hōnen Matsuri [豊年祭] literally means harvest festival, but it is also known as the fertility or penis festival.
Every year on March 15th, Hōnen Matsuri is held as a celebration of a bountiful harvest, prosperity and fertility at the Tagata Shrine [田縣神社] in Komaki city [小牧市], Aichi prefecture [愛知県].
The main feature of the festival is a big parade, where priests are playing musical instruments (drums), and a 300kg (660 lbs), 2m (78 inch) wooden phallus is carried by Yaku Otoko [厄男 / Unlucky aged men] from Shinmei Shrine [Shinmei Sha / 神明社] or Kumano Shrine [Kumano-sha / 熊野社] to Tagata shrine. Smaller wooden phalluses are also carried by miko [巫女 / shrine maidens]. Every year a new phallus is carved from a cedar tree. Rubbing the phallus carried by miko is said to be good for fertility and an easy delivery. The reason the festival is held in March is that the spring is a new start, symbolising birth and the beginning of a new life.
Hōnen Matsuri has been celebrated for more than 1500 years and became very popular with foreigners each year.
How to get there
From Nagoya station, take the Meitetsu Inuyama Line [犬山線] to Inuyama Station [犬山駅]
transfer to the Komaki Line [小牧線] and get off at Tagata Jinja Mae [田県神社前]
Adult one way 710 yen / Approx. 35-45mins