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19
Mar '18

Trip Report: Hōnen Matsuri

That’s right, it’s Penis Festival Time – I mean Hōnen Matsuri!

This will be the third “festival“, my second time at Komaki. I’ve returned because I wanted to see what a smaller town festival would be like when it didn’t fall on a weekend. The one in Kawasaki always on the first Sunday of April, while the Komaki one is always on a specific date – March 15th, which when I was here three years ago, fell on a Sunday.

There must be some tourist interest for them to post the sign in English, especially since the route alternates even and odd years. See the WikiPedia entry.

There is lots of milling about before the parade – food stalls, if you can call chocolate covered bananas, food.

And candy stalls selling penis pops…that would be Taylor, a friend of Julian’s joining us:

Strangely, Zima is still a thing in Japan, and I got talked into trying one:

Which led to this….

And all this was BEFORE the parade was underway….which starts now:

And they were handing out free sake ladled out of a big wooden cask…

And they had a “petting zoo”…

We followed the parade all the way back to the temple…

As a side note it was interesting that locals would approach and chat with us – it helped that Julian and Taylor both speak a little Japanese.

Everyone was getting into the spirit…think Goth Sperm Dress:

Then there was the traditional “throwing of the rice cakes”…

I like the guy with the catcher’s mitt!

Somewhere along the way we met up with Kent, who Taylor knew from Tender, but had declined his invitation to go to the penis festival together…and as (his) luck would have it, he found us in the crowd.

Off we went for real food:

I do remember that this was an “all you could eat – all you could drink” place.

Which could be why I don’t remember the details of the karaoke bar we went to afterwards…at least I got a bit of a nap in. Apparently, I only made it through one drink at the bar – which was all you could drink in an hour. Not looking too hot on the train ride home:

At least tonight, we made the last train home.

Barely.

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