The ‘On The Fox Trail…’ series on Tokyo Fox has generally included a fair number of shrines around Japan but for this one it’s more a case of going on the c*cks trail, if you will! As ever, I was unable to resist the lure of such a quirky place and so I ventured on over to Chiba prefecture recently to check out this small shrine.
The closest station is Ajiki Station on the JR Narita Line which lies about 70 minutes east of Ueno Station in Tokyo.
Exit the station, turn right and walk for about ten minutes and you will eventually (with the help of a maps app!) arrive at Owashi Shrine (3620 Ajiki, Sakae-machi).
There seem to be a fair few of these penis shrines around Japan and I am slowly but surely ticking them off. This one was certainly far more accessible than Mara-kannon Temple in Yamaguchi prefecture which I visited last August and that really is in the middle of nowhere! By contrast, this one is fairly easy to get to.
On the face of it, it looks like nothing more than a pleasant countryside place of worship but enter the main hall to the side of the steps and you may get a surprise.
It is packed full of wooden phallic-shaped ornament pieces amidst some much larger tallywhackers! The black member enshrined here is the biggest in Japan measuring up at 2.5 metres long and 2.3 metres in circumference and no I didn’t find this out by whipping out my own tape measure!
As ever not all visitors here are as juvenile as me but actually come to pray for serious things like a successful marriage, fertility, smooth delivery of their baby and conjugal harmony. It’s not all relationship-related though as it’s a popular place for farmers to plead for abundant crops.
There is an annual Tori-no-ichi fair in December each year involving a parade through the streets of this town with wooden objects of worship. I can only guess that it is a more scaled down version of the Kanamara Matsuri penis festival held in Kawasaki on the first Sunday in April each year.
The shrine had another entrance around the back but that may have been the front for all I know! There may be no phallic symbols there but it was pleasant enough and featured the usual shrine paraphernalia including torii gates, smaller shrines and miniature foxes.
Back in Kashiwa I still had a few places to visit as I really hadn’t travelled all that way just to see the penis shrine! First up was a park slide which will feature in a future ‘Interesting Japanese Playground Structures‘ post and then I took a stroll down the main road (Route 16) for just over thirty minutes. There were a couple of places of vague note along the way. I’m not sure what the first picture below is. The second one is a car showroom devoted to Mini’s and there is even one on the side of the building!
My actual destination was a French castle-like architecture known as Chateau De Comal (1-21-15 Higashikashiwa, Kashiwa) which is some kind of cafe. Sadly, I didn’t have time to go inside as I had heard that you need a long time (90 minutes!) as the owner loves to talk about it’s interior in detail.
The final stop, and the main reason for me venturing over into Chiba, was Hitachidai which is the home ground of my Japanese team Kashiwa Reysol.
I met up with my friend Gideon on a bitterly cold night to see our boys beat Yokohama F. Marinos 2-0 in their first home league match of the 2018 J.League season.
Click here to read ‘Mara-kannon Temple (a.k.a. Penis Temple!)’
Click here to read ‘Simply The Breast Temple In Japan’
Click here to read ‘C*ck A Load Of This – Kanamara Matsuri 2014’