“House of Hidden Treasures”

In one of my many days with nothing to do at work, I was browsing through some blogs written by people who had previously lived in Japan. In one, I found a post where the writer had written (upon returning home) his regrets of the things he didn’t get a chance to experience while living in The Land of the Rising Sun. One of these was: “Visit a Sex Museum”. As of last weekend, I will never be able to say I have that regret. This is the story of how many foreigners joined together in a journey to Uwajima, to visit (as it is directly translated): The House Of Hidden Treasures.

Uwajima is a town south of Matsuyama, and on one fine Saturday morning – actually it was raining – a few of us ALT’s set out in search of culture. We were met at the Uwajima train station by the local ALTs who were excited to show us the wonders of their town. We were taken down winding streets, met by local’s stares. In fact it was one of these kind locals who approached us and said, “If you are looking for the giant penis statue, it’s that way”… and pointed us in the correct direction. I guess it was obvious what we were here in this small town to see.. and see it we did.

penis statue.
Don’t say I didn’t warn you…

This is actually a shrine in which one comes to pray for fertility and childbirth and the like. There were instructions (in English & Japanese) on how to properly pay your respects. What amused me more than the statue itself was all the signs in English that read, “Please don’t laugh”, and “Be respectful”.

The museum itself was actually incredibly strange. It went from ancient images in which sex is portrayed from around the world to strange circus acts and eventually to horrific real photographs no one would ever want to see. Once we reached that point we all decided things had just taken a turn for the worse, and we’d better go and see what else Uwajima had to offer.

All in all, there was more to see in Uwajima than just the penis shrine. There were lovely temples which looked beautiful even in the rain. It was nice to see a lot of the other teachers who all came together for the occasion (what else but a giant penis statue to bring people together). Here are some other images of what Uwajima had to offer us.

penis statue.
Okay, here’s the temple, penis free.uwajima temple wishes
At the temple, people write their wishes on these pieces of wood and hang them. I don’t know what this says, so I can’t guarantee this is a penis free picture.

Check out the rest on flickr! Have a great weekend everyone! I am off on another adventure this weekend (possibly featuring monkeys) so stay tuned (too cheesy?)..



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