Jul 1, 2018

The Koide Fertility Festival

Since summer has arrived, our local calendar is filled to the brim with a multitude of different festivals. From the big ones to the small ones (no pun intended), there's basically a festival to check out each and every weekend until the end of August - and one that we visited yesterday was a fertility festival. Now, whilst it wasn't on the scale of the Kanamara Matsuri held down Kawasaki way (which is probably the most well known of Japan's fertility festivals) it was still fun to check out.

The Koide Fertility Festival photo

We got there early, well before the procession took place, and had to head home before the main event because of poor weather - but we still found the star of the show!

One thing that I find unique about life in Japan is that some of these events even exist - most likely because I can't imagine the concept of a festival like this working back home. I'm sure some would think it was rude or inappropriate, some would think that the idea of a giant wooden phallus parading the streets was hilarious and be there cracking jokes about it, and others would probably be there making obscene gestures (classy, I know). Here though, it just is what it is - a festival designed to be an opportunity to pray for fertility. There seemed to be plenty of young families there, perhaps wanting to add one more to their broods, or maybe even thankful for the blessings that they've already received.

The Koide Fertility Festival photo

Needless to say though, in my opinion Japan's fertility festivals are up there with the most unusual. With the number of children declining here for the 37th consecutive year, I'm thinking maybe they need to bring out the wooden phalluses more often!

Have you been to a fertility festival before? How well do you think the concept would work back in your home country?



After spending the last several years in the beating heart of Tokyo, I will be spending the next three in the countryside of Japan. I adore this country and all it has to offer - and I'm always learning more and more about life here as I go along!