We are at present 10 participants for the Kanamara festival walk on April 2 in Kawasaki. If you also have decided to go, let me know soon, so that I can prepare information. The present participants include couples, men and women.
The details are as below. The weather outlook looks good.
Meeting time and place: Let's meet at 7:35 AM near the ticket gates of the Tsukuba station. Please buy your tickets (to Akihabara) and board the rapid train by 7:45. Let's all board the car no. 3.
What to wear: Casual clothes. Some stricking dresses might go well with the festival. Comfortable walking shoes.
What to bring: Camera, money to buy food (and toys?) in the festival, etc.
An exciting walk! On a popular demand, I will organise a walk in Kanamara festival at Kanayama Shrine in Kawasaki city, held annually. Kanamara Matsuri is literally 'Festival of Steel Phallus.' There are many events on this theme, including a Mikoshi Parade.
This festival is rising in popularity every year, especially among non-Japanese tourists and residents. There are many fun events! I am sure its going to be a lot of fun, unique ways!
The festival will begin at 10:00 AM. The program of the festival is as below
10:00-10:15 御火取祭 Fire festival
10:15-10:45 例祭 Annual festival
10:45-11:00 神輿御霊入れ式 Start of Mikoshi ceremony
11:00-11:30 大根削り Radish-cutting entertainment
12:00-14:30 面掛行列（神輿）Taking out Mikoshi
~16:30 奉納演芸～ Offering entertainment to God
We will use trains to go there and back.
I plan to leave Tsukuba by Rapid train at 7:49 AM for Akihabara.
The travel route is like this:
Tsukuba --(TX) --> Akihabara --(Keihin-Tohoku line) --> Kawasaki --> Keiyu-Kawasaki --(Keiyu Daishi Line) --> Keiyu Daishi station.
The total travel time (each way) is ~100 min., and costs 1,720 yen.
Other expenses are the club fee of yen 300 yen, and for food and entertainment during the festival.
I am happy to report on a fun filled day at Kanamara festival in Kawasaki city last Sunday April 2.
We 10 persons set out from Tsukuba by 7:49 rapid train. After changing to Keihin-Tohoku line in Akihabara, we reached Kawasaki JR station, where we changed to Keiyu station Daishi line to reach Kawasaki Daishi station. With a large crowd from this station, we walked a short distance to the Kanayama shrine, a little before 10:00AM.
At this time, a large crowd had already gathered at the premises of the shrine; it was difficult to move around and keep together. Mikoshis (palanquin) carrying phalluses (one of steel, another wood, and a pink one) were ready with people milling around them taking pictures. We were told that arriving half an hour earlier would have given us some time to move around the premises and buy 'those' candies without having to queue up with a hundred people. Anyway, we moved into the people gathered in front of the shrine to watch an opening performance; then daikon cutting (shaping) event by its side; and then waited for the mikoshis to be taken out for the parade (at noon).
However, we, having started early from Tsukuba, and gone all the way, were a bit tired and quite hungry. However, the parade route was already quite crowded and no restaurants had any seats. We finally settled for an okonomiyaki restaurant. We settled down to relax, frying and eating. By the time we finished, the parade was on its way back (from Daishi park), and we joined it.
Then we headed to the Kawasaki Daishi temple in the vicinity. It was filled with people, a large number of those from the Kanamara festival, as evident from them sucking on the pink and other colour candies! This temple reminds of Asakusa temple, with bigger compound. It had a festive atmosphere with an eating area (and good toilets facilities).
We then headed back to the Kanayama shrine, where activities were still on, especially performances on a stage. After about 4:30 PM, we headed back to Tsukuba.
During the day, we also met some other club members who had come to join for a short time (some of whom could not start early enough to join us, and went on their own).
I thank all the fun loving people who joined us to enjoy the day!