Hounen Matsuri: The Preparations
In this day and age, I don't think it would be possible to hold this kind of festival unless a large number of the participants and spectators were completely drunk. And the Japanese seem to agree. Hours before the start of the parade and all throughout the festival, these large carts holding small barrels of sake were pushed throughout the crowd, offering a cup to anyone who wanted one.

The sake cart
A wooden phallus accompanies each sake cart.
Give it a good rub for good luck!

Photo Ops

Some of the best photo opportunities before the start of the parade are of or with the participants. Shinto priests are praying and chanting, swordsmen are displaying their art, and the participants will take pictures with you if you'd like. And then you simply must get your picture taken with "the big one"!
People lined up to take a picture with the giant phallus. Occasionally to reach out and touch, stroke, or even kiss it!
Not even this little girl can't resist the temptation
to take a picture with "the big one"
Ladies of the procession
A diety, Sarutahiko-no-okami, prepares to lead the
procession. He led the descent from heaven to
Earth of the Sun Goddess, Amaterasu.

Two parents can't leave without getting photos
of their girls, above and left, with big wooden penis.
My friends, Glen and Lesa, below
strike a pose with "the big one".

The big wooden penis is loaded up in its jumbo-sized palanquin, ready for the parade.


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