Trekking with Becky

Photo Friday: A Penis Shrine in Japan

Sex or any sex-related subjects are almost never discussed in Japan.  I’ve never even heard any Japanese people (in Japan) make a penis joke or any kind of sex joke.  Most of my adult students were utterly horrified when I had to explain why their mispronouncing city eLections using the Japanese alphabet as shitty eRections makes native English speakers crack up.

Explaining why genital man instead of gentleman was just as shocking to them, so you can imagine my surprise when I discovered that Japan actually has a penis shrine.

I was even more surprised to learn that penis shrines like these used to be common, but many of them were dismantled during the Meiji era (1867-1912) because of European influence.

Anyway, this shrine (jinja) is called Taga Jinja (多賀神社).  It is in front of a very explicit museum full of sex-related artefacts from all over the world, called Dekoboko Shindou (凸凹神童).  It’s open from 8am-5pm, and it’s one of the more expensive museums at ¥800.  You can’t take photos inside unless you pay the exorbitant ¥20,000 fee.  Of course, the shrine itself, like every other shrine I’ve visited in Japan, is a freebie.

Taga Shrine is (understandably) secluded from the city, Uwajima.  You have to go through another shrine, Warei Jinja (和霊神社), to get to it.  You might miss it, but here’s the entrance. ↓

Entrance to Taga Jinja and Dekoboko Shindou.


Looks like normal shrine grounds so far, doesn’t it?

Now, let’s play a game! 😀

Let’s play I Spy.

Ready?  Go!

I spy…with my little eye…

…a phallus? A wanker? A penis?


A shitty erection?


Let’s play again. 🙂


I spy…with my little eye…

…a penis head.  Do you see it?


You can walk to the left of the shrine and see the entire thing, which as you probably have already guessed, it’s carved from a huge tree trunk.

The detail is impressive, isn’t it?


Kidding aside, there were people there who were praying and not looking bemused, trying to keep their jaws closed, or stifling laughter.  The reason behind the penile presence is that this shrine is for fertility – if you’re having fertility problems, you come here to pray.  If you’d like to pray here or if you don’t understand what worshippers are doing, have a look at my guide, What to Do at a Shrine or a Temple) in Japan.

Like every other place in Japan, you can get souvenirs.  They didn’t have any magnets, snacks, folders, handkerchiefs, pens, and the other usual souvenir merchandise that you typically find in Japan.  They had these instead. ↓

These are exactly what you think they are – the woman’s part on the left and the man’s part on the right.

You can also get these penis charms. ↓

Where would you hang yours?


If the previous choices didn’t tickle your fancy, there are these ones, too!



Granted, sex is natural – that’s how we all got here – but don’t you find this surprising?




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7 thoughts on “Photo Friday: A Penis Shrine in Japan

  1. Wherejogoes

    OMG the mind boggles! Especially those souvenirs – this would be popular with hen parties (bachelorette parties) in the UK! An eye opening place to visit! Not one to take the kids to! #Wkendtravelinspiration

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