Kanamara Matsuri (also known as the “Penis Festival” or “Steel Phallus Festival”) is an annual festival held at Kawasaki’s Kanayama Shrine in early April. It began in 1978 and the festival had a much quieter life before people started posting YouTube videos of a massive, phallic structure being brought down the road and this remarkably unusual celebration caught wind from foreigners both in Japan and abroad. Around 30,000 are attending the event today.
Best time to arrive:
At 11am the festival opens, but at midday, the main event takes place. Until returning back to Kanayama Shrine, the three mikoshi (portable shrines) make their way down the street and past the train station. In the grounds of the shrine, these mikoshi are on display beforehand, but due to the popularity of the event, organizers may begin denying entry to the shrine by 11am. There for it is advised to arrive early in the morning for this reason (ideally before 9am).
The nearest station in Kawasaki-daishi Station on the Keikyu-Daishi Line. From central Tokyo easiest access is from Shinagawa Station.