What Exactly Went on at the Japanese Festival of the Penis?

Every spring thousands of Japanese people head to Kawasaki to celebrate ‘Kanamara Matsuri’, or the Festival of the Steel Phallus. This year the event took place on April 6 when people of all ages paraded through the streets with phallic shrines, sucked willy shaped lollies and even dressed like knobs. It's believed that the tradition began in the 17th century when prostitutes prayed for protection from sexually transmitted diseases at the Kanamara shrine in the city. These days the festival is about raising awareness and cash for safe sex and HIV prevention.

Here are a few of my favourite photos of the event to inspire you to visit the Japanese Festival of the Penis one day. 

A phallic shrine paraded through the streets

Japanese Penis Festival

People wore penis costumes

Penis costumes

And dick's on their noses as a disguise

Dick nose

All ages turned out to worship the shrines

Japanese Festival of the Penis

You could literally buy anything in the shape of a willy 

Penis candles

Including couples' lollipops, yum

Penis lollipops

And visitors posed next to giant penises

Posing with a penis statue

Pretty random hey?!

What do you think, would you go to the Japanese Festival of the Penis, or is it all a bit too weird?