Fertility festivals in Japan are known for their parades — phallic statues are carried to local shrines, to the shock (and awe) of newcomers. In this small corner of Shizuoka, the Dontsuku Festival continues that tradition.
Despite being canceled “forever” in 2018, this much-loved festival made its comeback in 2023 to the joy of many.
The centerpiece of the festival is the parade of phallus-shaped shrines, including a large, meter-long shrine carried by multiple people.
Other smaller shrines are carried by paraders, and if you’re feeling adventurous, you can even ride one to the shrine! The statues are meant to symbolize fertility and good fortune for those who join in the parade. To that end, there’s even staff dressed as Japanese spirits who’ll tap you with a phallic staff for luck.
If all that gets you hungry, you can enjoy the traditional festival trimmings around the area. There’ll be food and drink stalls selling… uniquely shaped sausages and other snacks, as well as drinks. To round off the evening, there’ll be a final fireworks display over the water at 8:40 p.m.
How to get there
The Dontsuku Festival is held in the town of Inatori in Shizuoka Prefecture. The town is known for its hot springs, and the easiest way to get there is the JR Ito/Izukyuko line to Izu-Inatori Station.
The trip will take you about 3 hours from Tokyo. The festival area is about a 15-minute walk from the station.