Kawasakibabibubebo | 2 02 2009
Kawasaki is about a 20 minute train ride from Tokyo Station and is between Tokyo and Yokohama. I was only there for about half a day, but to be honest, I wasn’t too impressed. I guess to be fair though, half a day really isn’t enough for anything except for a first impression. Kawasaki has a population of over 1 million, but to me it feels like it is smaller. Kawasaki is not as trendy as some places in Tokyo, it still has its share of “Tokyoesque” architecture, shopping centers and so on.
If you are just visiting Japan for a limited amount of time, Kawasaki should probably not make your shortlist of places to see in Tokyo/Japan, but if you are living in Japan, there are two reasons why you might wanna check out Kawasaki: Kawasaki Daishi and something that is probably not safe for work, Kanamara Matsuri (The Steel Phallus Festival 金まら祭り).
If you make the trip to Kawasaki, Kawasaki Daishi is worth a visit. This temple, also referred to as Heigen-ji, has a nice park, pagoda, some interesting shops (and food stalls) and entrance is free. You won’t be blown away as if you were visiting Kyoto’s Nanzenji or anything like that, but you probably won’t be too disappointed either.
Occurring once a year in April, Kanamara Matsuri, commonly referred to by foreigners as “The Penis Festival,” is the other reason why you might be persuaded to head over to Kawasaki. Like I mentioned already and you can probably guess by the name, this isn’t exactly something you should be searching the internet for at work! In any case, I have a detailed report of Kanamara Matsuri if you are interested in it (not x-rated and no real nudity, just a lot of phallic stuff and some implied gestures).
For more information about Kawasaki, take a look at the Official Kawasaki City site for more information.
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