i was convinced (internally kicking and screaming) to attend the hōnen matsuri, or "fruitful year" festival, more accurately dubbed the penis festival. what can i say? curiosity got the better of me, but i was expecting lewd and obnoxious behavior from the crowd, so i planned to hang back and pretend like i just happened to be four hours north of my home on a saturday morning.
feeling silly getting off the train, i trudged after the streams of people with angie and kjersten, but i was soon disarmed by the atmosphere. i think everyone, japanese and foreigner alike, were just curious and a bit shy at the prospect of facing the centerpiece of the festival: a ten foot long wooden penis-in-a-shrine (much like pigs-in-a-blanket). naturally i had to take a picture with it. who would believe me?
the tough part behind us, we descended on the food booths with passion. never in my life have i met a potato i didn't love, and never before had i met a potato i loved more than the fried spiral potatoes i found there.
the memorable sculpted, chocolate-covered bananas.
my favorite part of the festival was definitely just sitting in the sun watching sheepish japanese guys suck on their blue penis-shaped suckers.
a grinning old man took polaroids of us with the impressive phallus which printed on mickey mouse paper, naturally. walt disney turns over in his grave.