Kawasaki Halloween Pics 2008

October 27, 2008

Here are some of my usual out-of-focus snaps, of this year’s Halloween festival in Kawasaki.

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Gachachin

April 10, 2008

Kawasaki City’s annual penis-celebrating fertility festival, the Kanamara Matsuri took place on Sunday and was as crazy as ever. A highlight was the appearance of Gachachin, a grotesquely mutated phallic version of the popular cuddly character, Gachapin. Gachapin usually looks like this:

…and this is Gachachin:

Truly, deeply warped. He looks like the bad-trip hallucination of Sigmund Freud watching children’s television on mescalin.
I wonder if we can expect to see more of Gachachin in the future?
I, for one, would like to see him do battle against Flesh Gordon.


Penis Party 2008

March 19, 2008

The first Sunday in April is almost here, which means it’s almost time for Kawasaki’s notorious Kanamara fertility festival, at which an enormous pink penis is paraded around town by transvestites, vegetables are carved into phallic shapes, and crowds nibble on pink schlong-shaped lollipops. Before you sigh “those crazy Japanese people,” I should point out that these days the voyeuristic, giggling Western tourists outnumber the locals.
Festivities take place on Sunday April 6th, at Wakamiya Hachimangu Shrine in Kawasaki from around 10AM to 4PM. To get there, take the Daishi Line to Kawasaki Daishi station. Go out of the exit and you’ll see Wakamiya Hachimangu shrine across the street, to the right.
Tel: (044) 222-3206
You can read a story I wrote about it last year, with accompanying photos, here– which is by far the most popular blog entry I’ve ever written (it’s been seen by about 100,000 people). Below are some new pictures that I didn’t post last year.


Kawasaki Halloween Festival

October 12, 2007

Kawasaki, near Tokyo, is host to a number of eccentric festivals and events, including the notorious Kanamara festival in April (where folk carry a giant pink penis statue down the street.) This month sees the return of Kawasaki’s annual Halloween festival, the highlight being a wild street parade on October the 28th, featuring some of most insanely outlandish costumes you’ve ever seen. An eclectic array of costumed freaks, from Pikachu to Freddy Krueger, hit the streets of downtown Kawasaki and follow floats blasting out pounding techno tunes, much to the horror and amusement of bewildered bystanders.
Below are some photos I took of the parade over the last couple of years and here’s a review of 2005’s event.

The parade starts at 2PM on October the 28th, at Kawasaki’s Cittadella complex. Other events include a screening of the Rocky Horror Picture Show, and a potentially hilarious “70s/80s Dancing Party Halloween Special” on the 27th.
Learn more at the official website.