Photo By: doraebon
Region
Chubu
Island
Honshu
Largest City
Shizuoka
Population
3,767,427

Dontsuku Festival

Don’t call it a penis festival… then again...

In spite of all its rules and propriety, Japan still has its quirky bits. If you’re into that kind of stuff, head to the Dontsuku Festival, a celebration of fertility that’s sure to be a less crowded alternative to the famous “penis festival” held in Kawasaki.

Every year, at the beginning of June, the Dontsuku Shrine in Higashi Izu, Shizuoka, hosts a fertility festival in the onsen (hot spring) town of Inatori. Although the festival dates back more than 2,000 years, its current interpretation only began in 1966.

Photo by: hsuvincent1208 The portable shrine has a special feature…

One local used to … hit residents with a penis-shaped stick to bless them with children and to prevent them from getting ill.

Traditionally, one local used to dress like a tengu (Japanese folklore character with a long nose) and hit residents with a penis-shaped stick to bless them with children and to prevent them from getting ill. Today, the summer festival is celebrated on a larger scale to grant married couples quarrel-free relationships and healthy baby deliveries.

What other fests are nearby?

One of the popular attractions of the festival is the giant phallus-shaped goshintai (object of worship) carried by locals through the streets. Young women also carry smaller goshintai and onlookers can join in the procession.

If you’re feeling particularly frisky, you can even straddle the wooden goshintai while it’s carried on the shoulders of the locals.

Things to do at Dontsuku Festival

The festival also includes the parade of Tengu floats, taiko drumming performances, dancing and shamisen-playing geisha, and mochi maki. Mochi maki, also called mochinage, is a traditional Japanese custom where the festival organizers throw rice cakes and other packaged food into the air so that crowd goers can catch them.

Photo by: keiji_mutoh_peropero The oh-so-modest and meta penis sausage.

During the festival, grab some festival food favorites like takoyaki (octopus fritters), yakisoba (fried soba noodles), or something a little different: mochi dumplings and other sweet treats shaped like the male sex organ.

Photo by: hsuvincent1208 Towns people carry the portable shrine for the festival.

Dontsuku Festival concludes with the launching of 1,000 fireworks at the waterfront. Since the festival ends at night, it’s a good idea to overnight at a local hotel or ryokan (traditional Japanese inn) and soak in one of the spa town’s famous onsens before you’re onto your next adventure.

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Things To Know

Date and time

The festival is usually held during the first weekend in June. The procession starts at 7 p.m. and ends at 9 p.m. However, days and times are subject to change you can check this website: http://www.inatorionsen.or.jp/blog/?p=736 (Japanese) for current details.

How To Get There

Address

1021-24 Inatori, Higashiizu-chō, Kamo-gun, Shizuoka-ken 413-0411, Japan

By train

Take the Tokaido-Sanyo bullet train from Tokyo station to Atami station (40 minutes). Change for the Odoriko limited express train to Izu Inatori station (60 minutes). The festival venue is within walking distance from station (5 minutes).

Where To Stay

Itoen Hotel Inatori
  • Higashiizucho 1021-24 Kamo-Gun Higashiizu-Cho, Shizuoka 413-0411
  • 6.4/10
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Hamanoyu
  • Inatori 1017 Kamo-Gun Higashiizu-Cho, Shizuoka 413-0411
  • 9.2/10
  • 0.1 km
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Inatori Akao Hotel
  • Inatori 1050 Kamo-Gun Higashiizu-Cho, Shizuoka 413-0411
  • 0.1 km
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Shinyu no Yado SAZANA
  • Inatori 1594-1 Kamo-Gun Higashiizu-Cho, Shizuoka 413-0411
  • 8/10
  • 0.9 km
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