Tag Archive for fertility festival

Quick update 19th March 2018

I’ve been really super busy trying to finish writing a textbook that I should get to the printers either today or tomorrow, because for the next couple of weeks I’ll be touristing about Nagoya, Osaka, Nara, Kyoto, and Shizuoka. For Osaka, I’ll be there for the final day of the Spring sumo tournament on the 25th; should be super exciting. Then see the deer in Nara; and a few days in Kyoto (my favourite city). I had hoped to get a classical photo of cherry blossoms and Mount Fuji, but it seems the way they are blooming, we’ll get them in Kyoto and may miss them in Shizuoka.

Latest items at ablyth-shop.com

Latest items at ablyth-shop.com

During this time, I’ll be getting tonnes of great photos, and new t-shirt and poster ideas for ablyth-shop.com. If you haven’t already noticed, there is a competition where you can win upto USD$150 worth of ABlyth branded clothes. This will allow you to choose what shirts, designs, and products you want. Which means, you could also choose from any new designs that are created while I’m travelling about. Enter either at JapanesePhotos.Asia homepage, or at ablyth-shop.com/pages/win-prizes.

Also, I’m really excited to see people ordering ABlyth products, and even happier to see photos of these sent to me. FYI, there are discount codes available if you show your ABlyth product on FaceBook, Instagram, or Twitter with the hashtag #ablyth and the ablyth-shop.com link. Yes, this project is still new, and so we’re doing everything possible to get the word out, and we’re very happy to give you discounts for helping. So, post your photos with the ABlyth products, and alert us, and we’ll get you a 15% discount code for your next order.

Shrine Maidens at the Tagata Fertility Festival 2018

Shrine Maidens at the Tagata Fertility Festival 2018

Last week was a terrible week for me (Andrew). I have four days straight of migraines. On the day of the Tagata Fertility Festival, I decided I had to get out, and I had to use my last migraine pill. I spent the day there getting photos like this one below, without pain, but totally spaced-out on analgesics. Now, big question, will there be a t-shirt with a fertility festival theme coming out? Hmm… On another note, I learnt that anyone can apply to be a shrine maiden for this event, and I assume the same for the men who carry these phallic palanquins through the town. I will write about the Tagata Fertility Festival in the future, but no time today, I’m afraid. More photos will be on the way, and more on the Tagata Fertility Festival in these previous blog posts.

Men carrying the half-tonne phallus and palanquin through the town in the Tagata Fertility Festival 2018.

Men carrying the half-tonne phallus and palanquin through the town in the Tagata Fertility Festival 2018.

5 Things to do this Spring in Japan

Are you thinking of what to do in Japan these Spring holidays? Look no further. Of course I talk mainly of Nagoya in central Japan. In case you don’t know. Nagoya is the major city in between Tokyo and Osaka. It is the home of the Toyota Motor Corporation, and the famous blue Central JR bullet trains. Land prices here rival that of Tokyo and London, and it’s one of the richest cities in the world. It’s also a convenient base for travellers. So, if you’re going to be in Japan and looking for travel ideas, start with these. Oh, and here’s one little trivial point to mention. The Spring holidays start mid-Winter (end of January), and finish in early Spring (early April). Don’t ask me why, just go with it.

For each below, there are links that include How to Get There information.


Buy woman shopping in the Osu Kanon flea market photo

1. Plum blossoms

Plum flowers typically bloom in about the last week of February and last until about mid-March (depending on the species and the weather). These flowers have more petals than cherry blossoms, last longer, and have more vibrant colours. These flowers used to be the most revered until a Kyoto poet captured Japanese hearts for the cherry blossoms. Plum flowers can be enjoyed at many major parks, including private botanic gardens like Nabana no Sato, the Nagoya Agricultural Centre, and Higashiyama Park (at Higashiyama Koen Station, Higashiyama Line).

Plum flowers
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2. Osaka Sumo Tournament

The Osaka Sumo Tournament is a little unique. It’s the only sumo tournament where the wrestlers need to walk through the public areas between the fighting mound in the centre of the stadium, to the changing rooms out back. So you can get close enough to get clear photos of the wrestlers just before and after their bouts. The tournament runs from the second Sunday of March for fifteen days until the fourth Sunday. Tickets are available online and can be picked up at the venue from special machines; don’t forget your purchase code and info. Learn more about the sumo here at the Going to a Sumo Tournament post.

Osaka Sumo
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3. The Naked Man Festival

Don’t worry, they’re not all men; they’re not completely naked; and it’s not so much a festival that you have to take part in… unless you really want. It’s held annually on the 15th of January in the lunar calendar (usually between mid February to early March). In 2015 it was held on the 3rd March (Gregorian Calendar). The festival attracts about 13,000 participants (males from about 6 or 7yo, to those about 70 or 80. You’ll even see tattooed gangsters playing their part as members of the community, too. You’ll have to bump your way through a crowd of perhaps 150,000 to 200,000 spectators of mainly excited women and girls. The festival is also known as the Hadaka Matsuri (“hadaka” is ‘naked’, and “matsuri” is ‘festival’).


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4. The Fertility Festival

Like the Naked Man Festival, this festival traces it’s roots to ancient Japan and is held with strong religious connections. It basically is a large wooden phallus being joyously carried through the Tagata township. On the internet it’s also known as the penis festival. It’s held on the 15th March each year (Gregorian Calendar). See here for specific info on the Tagata Fertility Festival.


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5. Cherry blossoms / Sakura

Of course, no mention of Spring and Japan is complete without mentioning the delicate and fleeting petals of a tree that bears no fruit, yet covers almost every temple and shrine and park in the country for about one week. The image below was taken at Nagoya Castle. You can get there via the subway Meijo Line, at the Shyakusho-mae Station in downtown or central Nagoya. The castle is also a museum and has the Nagoya gymnasium which hosts the July summer sumo tournament. There are some specific things you can do in this fleeting time, typically one week, and it involves friends, alcohol, bad decisions, and can be day or night. Learn five things about hanami here (hanami literally means “flowers-see”).


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Bonus: Tado Horse Festival

The Tado Horse Festival is held in the Golden Week holidays, the end of April and early May. It’s held in Tado, a small township just outside of Kuwana city, which itself is outside of Nagoya. The festival typically attracts about 120,000 spectators. It’s major.


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POTW: Tagata Fertility Festival


It was announced on the NHK TV news this evening that the Japanese Ministry of Culture and Trade plans to organise the first international “export” of the Tagata Fertility Festival to San Francisco, and then to Dallas later in the same summer. Depending on the success of the event, it may also be exported to other cities around the world in 2014, including Salt Lake City, Rome, and possibly Beijing and Pyongyang.

The Ministry of Culture and Trade spokesman, Yuki Wakabashi, hopes the festival can include local men from Tagata, a town near Nagoya city, as well as local men in San Francisco, Dallas, Salt Lake City, the Vatican, and other cities to assist in lifting the one tonne phallus.

This photo, and others like it, are available on the PhotoShelter portfolio. Don’t forget the 10% discount currently available.

POTW Fertility Festival


This Photo of the Week is for the upcoming Nagoya fertility festival, held at Tagata annually on 15th March. The festival promotes having babies and families, and it’s also a place where young single people can pray that they find a husband or wife in the coming year.  In a Catholic western tradition, all thought of sex is considered a sin, but oriental religions do not consider sex a problem, and so there is no shame or sense of sin associated in having such festivals. The public parading of a phallus is not a problem. Families bathe together, and everyone know what all the bits are, so there’s nothing to teeter about. So, without further ado, here’s a giant wooden cock.

For information can be found on Wikipedia, and a gallery of images at my PhotoShelter portfolio.

Tagata Fertility Festival video

Despite the recent tragedies, and the near 24/7 constant flow of bad news on the TV, Japanese people in central Japan were wanting to see the Tagata Fertility Festival, also known by many foreigners as the ‘Penis Festival’.

I made a video with a selection of images I took on the day of the Tagata Fertility Festival video. These images are available for purchase for editorial and personal use at my Asia Photo Connection and PhotoShelter portfolios. Also see here for more information about the festival.