Nagareyama Zingara : How to enjoy naked festivals in Japan



There are some strange festivals in Japan. One of them with bizarre ritual is Zingara in Nagareyama city in Chiba pref. It is a kind of “obisha”, fortunetelling using big “mochi”, rice cakes!

What is “obisha” ?:

Obisha is very old custom in rural area of Chiba, Saitama, and Ibaraki around Tone-river, which is held in new-year period. Details of the obisha differs in every colony. Generally, it is composed of the ritual predicting harvest and dinner party. Residents of the colony are divided into small groups and “Touya” group arranges obisha by turns every year. The most popular ritual is to let off arrows at a target.

Moro Shrine:

In Moro Shrine in Miwa, this obisha is held on the 2nd Sunday of January. 2 big mochi are used in place of arrow and target. At first, 8 sho (1800ml) of sake, 8 sho of rice cake, 8 kinds of cooked vegetables, and big mochi of 3 sho and 5 sho are provided to the symbol of shrine. It is said that 8 digits is affiliated with mythology of the enshrined “Oomononushinomikoto”, however, details are unknown.

And ceremony of turning “Touya” to next group is done. They enjoy this ceremony with sake and dried squid.

And climax reaches. Glass windows are taken off and Naked young guys enter the shrine and smaller 3 mas mochi is thrown among them. It’s training time. Guys scramble for the mochi aggressively.

After training, larger 5 mochi is thrown.

They lift it and scramble to tear off and strike to the pillar.

Men struggle with each other moving inside and outside of shrine until it is split. During the struggle, guys are shouting and sweating. Many people visit to enjoy this exciting battle.

At last, the chief priest forecasts the harvest by investing how the rice cake is split. Of course, the conclusion is good harvest every year! After the end of ritual, gallery is treated with red and white mochi and oranges to share pleasure.
This ceremony is designated as an intangible cultural treasure by Nagareyama city. Some authorities, for for example the mayor, are invited.
Recentry, obisha custom is becoming a mere shell, however, this ritual is succeeded by a historical society.


Address: Miwanoyama 5-619, Nagareyama city, Chiba pref.

Nagareyama City

This city is comparatively small, located in the north-west area in Chiba pref, neighboring Saitama. Three railways run through this city so it is very convenient to commute to big city. Now there are wide residential areas in this city, however, it has been developed for a long time by water transportation thanks to Tone conduit and Edo-river, so you can visit many historical spots. In addition, there is large forest in the central part of this city, called Ootaka-no-mori, where goshawks live, so beautiful nature is conserved in Nagareyama.


Nagareyama is known as the place where routing shinsengumi had been stationed. Shinsengumi was a shogunate police and military force that acted in the last Edo period. Their unfortunate fate and miserable story is very famous and sympathized by many people. The cantonment of Isami Kondou, chief of shinsengumi, is preserved.

Detail: Nagareyama 2-10, Nagareyama city, Chiba pref.
Access: a few minuites on foot from Nagareyama station, Nagareyama line.
Contact information: 04-7150-6085

Local Products:

Mirin is major local product of Nagareyama city. Mirin is a kind of sweet rice wine which is used for cooking. It is said that mirin is oriented to Nagareyama as well as soy sauce in Noda. Many local products are available in Antenna shop Nagareyama-Furusato kan.


Edogawadai-Higashi 2-17, Nagareyama city, Chiba pref
Access: a few minutes on foot from Edogawadai station, Tobu Noda line.
Contact information: 04-7151-0450

Tone conduit waterside-park
Tone conduit was designed and conducted by Mulder, a Dutch civil engineer. The length is 8.5 km. Small streams and hill-bottoms are seen here and there. Rare plants and wild birds are alive. The water-side is decorated by beautiful flowers like corridor every season. Especially you can enjoy big cherry blossoms lit up in spring night, and colorful cluster amaryllis in autumn.

Address; Higashi-Fukai 368, Nagareyama city, Chiba pref.

For those interested in Matsuri…

You probably guess that this festival is one of many nude festivals in Japan. As nude festivals are important traditional and cultural feature in Japan almost every area can boast their own unique nude festival.

If you are curious about strange and nude festivals around Japan, the following article picked 10 best festivals for you to visit!

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Discover Chiba Prefecture!

Chiba Prefecture is a great place to visit and can boast plenty of tourist attractions. Besides, it is very close to Tokyo, and you can easily visit it within a day. However, would you like to see rural Japan? Chiba Prefecture gives you a unique opportunity to visit a land of hot springs and admire authentic traditional Japan. The following article assembled the best festivals and activities to enjoy in Chiba Prefecture, which will make your trip to Japan even more rewarding!


An Ultimate Idea Source for Your Tokyo Stay!

Most of the travelers who come to Japan enter the country through Tokyo. Even if it is not the main place of your destination, it would be a great idea to stay in the capital city for a few days. The biggest conglomerate in the world has much to offer to any kind of traveler. Whether you want to go sightseeing, shopping, eating out, or trying something special that you can experience only in Japan, Tokyo has it all. In the following article, you will find 100 things and many ideas on how to spend your time in Tokyo! Please, have a look!


Would You Like to Know How to Enjoy a Japanese Festival Even More?

A lot of people when they get to a Matsuri for the first time feel themselves a bit lost. They confuse about what is happening around. If you are new to Japanese Festivals or want to know an alternative way of how you can enjoy these events, the following article will provide you with a set of helpful tips on how to choose a proper festival and activities you should try there. Please don`t hesitate to take a look at it!


Did You Know That There is a Festival Every Day Somewhere in Japan?

Japan is a country of festivals indeed. Matsuri is an essential part of traditional Japanese culture. Thus, every day somewhere in Japan a festival takes place. There are traditional and modern festivals, on the sea and on the ground, in summer and winter. Japanese are hardworking people. However, when you attend at least one festival in Japan, you will understand how locals like to party. The article under the link below will introduce you to a celebration on any day of the year. I am sure you will find an event that suits your interests utmost!


Don`t Stay Hungry at the Festival!

Image courtesy of Tomomarusan

For all foodies who enjoy Japanese Festivals would be nice to get acquainted with the rich choice offered by Yatai (Japanese festival food stalls). The food presented during Matsuri is pretty different from the one you get at the restaurants in Japan. Besides, there is a certain charm in grabbing some snack from a food stall and diving back into the festival crowd. I am sure that you will discover something new about Japanese festival food from the following article!



Hi! I’m Kacchaman from Chiba city. I like taking stroll and sightseeing. Encounter and communication in strange town is enjoyable. Let’s enjoy trips and discovery in Japan.

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