Does any place really need two sex museums? One is surely enough for anyone but this place just a couple of hours north of Tokyo has two of them, and they are just 15 minutes apart on foot. I’m not sure what it says about me but I visited both of them back at the start of this year with the Toy, Doll & Car Museum sandwiched in between them for a bit of normality…if such an eclectic mix of random items could ever be considered normal!!
This place in Gunma Prefecture supposedly became famous for the owner Chinko-San’s (chinko means p*nis so I guess that’s not her real name!!) guided tour speeches not that I was aware of that when I went there! She has been on Japanese TV before (late night television!) and indeed her usual ten minute welcoming speech can be seen on YouTube.
I can’t remember too much about it but before we went inside the rather eccentric owner softly touched the genital areas of both the men and women in attendance which I’m sure everyone was a little embarrassed about. It is more of a ritual for good fortune and prosperous fertility rather than just getting a grope!!
I thought we (there were about three couples in our mini group) were going to get a guided tour of the premises, and I was worried as I really couldn’t understand what she was saying. It turns out that my Japanese friend (who told me about the place a couple of years ago) also wasn’t able to make out what she was on about when he visited it!
There are over 3,500 exhibits on the premises, beginning with some nude paintings showing semi-clothed couples in sexual positions. There is also a tree that looks like a pair of legs with a removable tallywhacker which the host used to talk about something but I’d switched off by that point!
The owners amusing and off-colour speech came to an end after about ten minutes when we were then left to roam alone and see many exhibits on show.
Marilyn Monroe even had a room dedicated to her with some classic images of the iconic American actress, singer, and model on display. As one of the most popular sex symbols of the 1950s and early 1960s she became emblematic of the era’s sexual revolution, and that is celebrated in part at Treasure Hall.
The rare stone room was after that with all manner of phallic items as well as a few altars where you donate a coin or two to in return for your prayers being answered. It is said that women praying here do not suffer any problems in the lower body!
The next room was a treasure trove of wooden sculptures.
There were hundreds and hundreds of men and women carvings in all kinds of interesting and somewhat funny naked positions.
The 1400 yen entrance cost is a little high (it did include a phalic-shaped candy too!) but it seems that it can be cheaper if you don’t have the speech from the director at the start. It takes about 30 minutes to walk around and there is also a souvenir shop at the end as is customary at just about every single place in Japan. I resisted the temptation to buy the popular phalic-shaped candy though as I have sampled that a few times at the annual Kanamara Matsuri in Kawasaki.
- Treasure Hall is located at 2109 Kaminoda, Yoshioka, Kitagunma-Gun, Gunma-ken. It is open every day between 9:00 am and 5:00 pm.
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