Subtitles section Play video Print subtitles <Warning> PG: Parental Guidance Suggested -Includes content that is considered sexual in nature Now I am in Kawasaki Daishi station which is located between Tokyo and Yokohama in Kawasaki City And site of Japan's most peculiar festival, held on the first Sunday of April, every year (2016 is Apr. 3) known as the festival of the steel phallus also known as the fertility festival, a.k.a... Yup, that's it. That's what I'm talking about On the surface, this festival seems ridiculous. I mean people having fun with, y'know. There's even a guy at the entrance who... does that. but the Kanamara Matsuri is more significant than what you just see. It's a Japanese religious event with deep roots. The festival starts with a blessing to the participants, and the phallus Mikoshi from the Kanayama Shrine priest The Kanamara festival can seem silly on the surface, but knowing it's history through social norms, and culture is the key. but before we go into that, Let's just see the festival from the street. Taking place right now. The Kanamara Matsuri of today. It's like any other Shinto Shrine festival, except the design of the Omikoshi or portable shrines carried along the route This is the Kanamara Funa Mikoshi. The long black phallus is housed in a boat like base. seemingly floating through the streets. This one is the Kanamara Dai Mikoshi The oldest one looks something like a well dated log Just like the Funa Mikoshi, this is like a vehicle that transports the deity around the town. giving off power and blessings This is Elizabeth. A bright pink hand made phallus donated by the Elizabeth Salon in Asakusa carried by the transgender participants in aim to bring more awareness to HIV/AIDS and the LGBT community. Although many see it as an eye sour. it is by far the most photographed Mikoshi in Japan The festival is flooded with tourists and residents. The atmosphere of the festival is like being in a massive street party Although one of the most famous Japanese festivals worldwide, you might be surprised to know it is mostly unknown inside Japan ignored by the local media Get there early (This year is Apr.3 2016) The festival really gets going around 10 AM The Mikoshi makes it way back to the main shrine. thus closing the event For insider's view on the Kanamara Matsuri, I went to the shrine's chief priest, Nakamura-san You can find so many unusual things to take home as souvenirs Eat or lick, or even wear! Nakamura-san explained about the festival, more specific, What is the real KANAMARA Matsuri Nakamura san is the 5th generation of her family to head the Kanayama shrine. Her love and passion for people who are suffering earned my respect and admiration. Kanayma shrine is the site of the festival but don't forget it is a place for worship for many. The festival has some events like this! The Daikon is shaped like a phallus, so it's natural the Kanamara matsuri will have a place for food art Anyone can take part Don't be shy. as you can see, art comes in all shapes and sizes. The Kanamara Matsuri is a place you can have a lot of fun. many can be shocked and awed by the phallus but that is just the surface. deep down, there is a religious and cultural meaning to this festival It's something we can all have a drink to. with the greatest amount of respect.