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Komaki-City Tagata Jinja Shrine

  • Tagata Jinja Shrine
  • Tagata Jinja Shrine
  • Tagata Jinja Shrine
  • Tagata Jinja Shrine
  • Tagata Jinja Shrine
  • Tagata Jinja Shrine
  • Tagata Jinja Shrine
  • Tagata Jinja Shrine
  • Tagata Jinja Shrine
  • Tagata Jinja Shrine

A strange festival involving the dedication of a giant symbol of manhood made of Japanese cypress

The festival is held every March 15, and in it a phallus, newly carved every year from Japanese cypress and more than 60 cm in diameter and 2 m long, is carried on a portable shrine by parade men of a "unlucky age" and offered to said shrine with prayers for a good harvest, the flourishing of all natural things and prosperous descendants. The sight of all this has led to the proceedings' becoming widely known as one of the world's strangest festivals, and on the day the temple grounds are filled with visitors from Japan and overseas.

Komaki’s Honen Festival, A Shocking Traditional Fertility Festival

Tagata Jinja Shrine

Komaki is a small, quite, industrial city just north of Nagoya, home to hard working salt-of-the earth type people. Not much happens in Komaki, and so that’s why the annual March 15 held Honen Festival, celebrating fertility and renewal, and featuring an absolutely huge penis is such a shocker!

Tagata Jinja Shrine

Komaki is famous for the castle atop Mt. Komaki, originally designed and built by Oda Nobunaga, and the site of the standoff between Toyotomi Hideyoshi and Tokugawa Ieyasu prior to the main Battle of Nagakute in 1584. Komaki is also famous for the annual Honen Festival, a rather visual event also known as “the penis festival” held on March 15. Strangely enough, the event seems to draw a particularly large number of foreign women to it, armed with cameras and bursting out into loud laughter as the festival parades’ main symbol passes by, a large, two and a half meter long, 60 cm thick, 400kg male appendage.

Ancient Tagata Jinja Shrine

Tagata Jinja Shrine

Tagata Jinja Shrine dates back over 1,500 years and is filled with man-made and naturally formed penis shaped items. Despite its risqué image and symbolism, the festival celebrating fertility and renewal is a cultural event, steeped in history and mythology. In the olden days, the items of veneration were loaned out to couples wishing for children, to women hoping to find a husband, or to farmers praying for a bumper crop. The phalluses were brought home and worshipped until the desired result was achieved. The items, and something similar as a donation of gratitude, were then returned to the shrine, and so the collection grew.

Tagata Jinja Shrine

Celebrations commence about 10am at the Tagata Shrine, where stalls sell penis shaped candies, key-chains, genitalia shaped cakes and cookies, chocolate coated bananas, all manner of wooden phallus figures and sexy souvenirs.

Tagata Jinja Shrine

The procession is led by Shinto priests in all their finery sprinkling salt along the route for purification, followed by flag bearers and then about 60 men, all aged 42, (considered an unlucky time for men) dressed in colorful traditional festival clothing working in teams of 12 to carry the huge symbol through the streets.

Tagata Jinja Shrine

The festival, although risqué and often full of innuendo, is also filled with fun, and some great photo opportunities and tales to shock your friends when you get home. You’ll be wanting to come again!

Oagata Shrine, with fertility rituals pairing those of Tagata Jinja Shrine.

If you’re looking to balance things out, by the way, near by the Tagata Shrine is the Oagata Shrine where the objects of worship are... you guessed it, female genitalia!
Click here for the Oagata Shrine Page.

SPOT OVERVIEW

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Location : 〒485-0004
152, Tagata-cho, Komaki-City, Aichi
Fee : Admission free of charge for visitations
*: Prayer service charged
Opening
days / hours
: Reservation not required for prayer services. Reception counter open 9:00 AM to 3:30 PM everyday including weekends and public holidays
Place : Tagata Jinja Shrine
Date : Honen Festival held annually on March 15th regardless of day of the week.
Other days of the year are open for normal visitation.
Parking : Available (cap. approx. 50 cars, within shrine's grounds and shared with buses and other large vehicles)
*: Parking not available for passenger cars on the day of Honen Festival (March 15), hence the use of public transportation is strongly advised. Additionally, traffic jams and restricting roadblocks may worsen the conditions for transport by car.
Restrooms : Available
Holidays : Open everyday
Phone number : 0568-76-2906

Note: This page may not be current due to update time differences between site databases.
Should accuracy be critical, please verify this information using a direct source, whenever possible.

ACCESS

  • Access by public transport
    Access by public transport
    •From Nagoya Station using Meitetsu trains (approx. 50min):
    Take the Meitetsu Inuyama Line bound to Inuyama, change trains to the Meitetsu Komaki Line at Inuyama Station, alight at Meitetsu Tagata Jinja-mae Station and walk 5min southeastwards.

    •From Nagoya Station using Nagoya City Subway (approx. 50min):
    Take the subway Higashiyama Line bound to Fujigaoka, change trains to the Meijo Line (Clockwise Direction) at Sakae Station, change trains to the Kami-Iida Line at Heiandori Station, alight at Meitetsu Tagata Jinja-mae Station and walk 5min southeastwards.

    •By taxi:
    -From Nagoya Airfield (Komaki Airport): approx. 25min northwards via Route 102.
    -From Meitetsu Komaki Station: approx. 15min northwards via Route 102 (under unfavorable traffic conditions may take about 20 to 30min)
  • Access by car
    Access by car
    Soon upon exiting Komaki I.C. of the Tomei Expressway and entering Route 41, move towards the rightmost lane heading northwards for 250m. Turn right at the Muranaka Crossing (村中) to enter Route 155 heading eastwards for 2.1km. Turn left at Komakihara crossing (小牧原) to enter Route 102 heading northwards for 1.8km. The shrine will be to your left, approx. 350m after Kubohonmachi crossing (久保本町).

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