The Best 10 Hadaka Matsuri: Why Naked Festivals are So Popular in Japan?




There are so many funny festivals all over the world and we do have ones here in Japan too. From this article, you can learn about naked festivals and understand how they gained its popularity. Hadaka Matsuri are more than surprising, but also very interesting if you know the story behind them! Let’s check what they are like.


– Why Did the Naked Festivals Begin?

1. Ohara Naked Festival

2. Kokuseki Temple Somin Festival

3. Kazusa Junisha Festival

4. Nagareyama Zingara Festival

5. Uchikuroda Naked Festival

6. Shitennoji Temple Doya Doya Festival

7. Saidaiji Eyo Festival

8. Warabi Naked Festival

9. Bishamondo Naked Jostling Festival

10. Morioka Naked Festival (Hadaka Mairi)

– Does Anybody Want to Join?

Why Did the Naked Festivals Begin?

Naked festivals are literally the festivals whose participants are nearly naked. It is taken as sacred to be naked to pray for Gods since it is your birth suit. These kinds of festivals are everywhere in Japan and most of them are held on New Year`s day or in the summer. In general, the ones on New Year`s day are to thank the God for new lives and the ones in summer are for expelling sins.

However, the stories are totally different for each festival. So, let us move on to see the details!

1. Ohara Naked Festival

image courtesy of MO

This is the biggest and the most powerful festival in the Kanto area. It is held for 2 days in September and the whole city is waiting for the festival to come. During the festival, 10 portable shrines dive into the sea and only the strongest guys carry them. The waves are so rough in September so it is amazing to see the brave Samurai souls of the guys.

You should definitely feel the hot atmosphere of this festival along with old Japanese traditions.

image courtesy of 3710mi

Details and Access

Dates: Annually at the end of September (Usually 23rd and 24th).

Access: Walking distance from Ohara station, JR Sotobo Line.

If you want to know more about this festival, please check the link below.


2. Kokuseki Temple Somin Festival

It is held in order to pray for health and protection from harm, and it has a history of over 1,000 years. It is on a Lunar New Year`s day when it is still pretty cold in Iwate Prefecture. What is most popular to see is, the last ceremony. At the Soumin Festival, the naked guys try to get the lucky bag so they can have a good year. It will take about an hour to decide who wins, and you will be amazed at how powerful it is for sure.

Details and Access

Dates: Annually in late February (the dates change depending on the year). 10:00 pm – 7:00 am.

Access: Take a taxi from JR Mizusawa-Esashi station. It will be about 15 minutes ride.

If you want to know more about this festival, please check the link below.


3. Kazusa Junisha Festival

There are about 2,500 naked guys to participate in this festival and they carry 10 portable shrines that the Gods ride in. It is held around the beach area in Chiba Prefecture and the contrast between ocean waves and guys’ performance is just amazing to see. You would definitely understand why it is a tangible cultural property of the prefecture.

Details and Access

Dates: Annually on September 13th.

Access: 7 minutes walk from Ichinomiya station, JR Sotobou Line.

If you want to know more about this festival, please check the link below.


4. Nagareyama Zingara Festival

This festival is held with traditional Japanese food, mochi. 20 naked guys fight to get it and also try to break it down by throwing it on the floor. Once it is broken, the ceremony is done and the priest of the Shrine tells the year’s fortune. All the guys are really passionate and it takes your breath away.

Details and Access

Dates: 2nd Sunday of January every year.

Access: Get off at Minami Nagareyama station, JR Musashino Line. Then, take a bus heading to “Nagareyama Otaka-no-mori station (East gate)” and get off at Sanrin Moro Shrine.

If you want to know more about this festival, please check the link below.


5. Uchikuroda Naked Festival

This festival started in Edo period. The naked guys put water on their head to clean themselves and back and forth between the temple and its entrance. This ceremony is for praying for good health in the upcoming year and also the priest of the temple tells the year’s fortune. There are 6 Gods in this temple and it is interesting to see the difference between each God’s house.

If you want to join as a naked guy, you should contact them right now!

Details and Access

Dates: 4:00 PM on March 15th every year.

Access: Take a bus from Monoi station, and get off at “Bird Hill Ikabana”. It`s 10 minutes walk from the bus stop.

If you want to know more about this festival, please check the link below.


6. Shitennoji Temple Doya Doya Festival

The name “Doya Doya” comes from the sound that the naked guys make. At this festival, about 1,200 naked people try to get the amulet, which is blessed for the harvest and good luck. It is held in the coldest time in January and the temperature is less than 10 degrees. Some men get the cold water and cry out, but those sounds make the festival interesting and enjoyable. It is also adorable to see the small kids participating!

Details and Access

Dates: Annually on January 14th, starting around 2:00 pm.

Access: 2 minutes walk from Tennojimae-yuhigaoka station, Tanimachi Line.

If you want to know more about this festival, please check the link below.


7. Saidaiji Eyo Festival

image courtesy of Mstyslav Chernov

It is one of the strangest festivals in Japan and has been held since the 8th century. It is said that “we don’t owe you even if you get hurt” on the official HP. From this, you can see that the festival is quite heavy. The guys are trying to get the sacred tree and it is said that you can hear them shouting even if you are a mile away.
It is held in February but people just wear the underwear and they say it is still hot because of people’s body heat. There are fireworks and a drum performance so you can enjoy the festival without being naked as well.

How to Access the Festival

Dates: Annually on the 3rd Saturday of February.

Access: 10 minutes walk from JR Saidaiji station.

If you want to know more about this festival, please check the link below.


8. Warabi Naked Festival

It is also known as “mud” festival since it is held on a rice field. The naked guys do rice plantings, a mock cavalry battle, and mud throwing. Everyone will get muddy including spectators. At this matsuri, people pray for a good harvest of rice but it must be a rare opportunity for you to see how they do it with mud!

Details and Access

Dates: Annually at the end of February.

Access: 15 minutes walk from JR Yotsukaido station on the Sobu Line.

If you want to know more about this festival, please check the link below.


9. Bishamondo Naked Jostling Festival

This festival was started in order to pray for a good harvest in the Edo period. You will see a lot of guys only in fundoshi carrying giant candles to the shrine. When they reach the shrine, they get into the icy pool with spring water and then start pushing and jostling to get into the main hall of the temple. Inside they start shoving, even more, to get to the inner area through a narrow gap and give their prays.

Pretty intriguing scene to see on a dark frosty night in a wooden temple in Niigata.

Details and Access

Dates: Annually on March 3rd.

Access: 2 min walk from JR Urasa station. Behind the station, actually.

If you want to know more about this festival, please check the link below.


10. Morioka Naked Festival (Hadaka Mairi)

This festival is held around New Year and people pray for the next year`s success. At the festival, the participants take a bath first to clean themselves enough to join the parade. Then, they march down 1 km to the temple. It takes 20-30 minutes since they are not just walking but performing. It is just amazing that they do it because it can be less than 0 degrees outside. Also, you would see the Japanese mindset that to get over the hard moments is quite important.

Details and Access

Dates: Dates differ according to the temple or shrine. Generally between January 12th and 28th.

Access: Take a bus from JR Morioka station and get off at “Hachimangu-mae”.

If you want to know more about this festival, please check the link below.


Does Anybody Want to Join?

General conditions for participate

You don’t have to be a resident of the town, but you should apply as soon as possible.

How much money do you need?

Mostly it`s free of charge, but you have to prepare the things to participate.

What do you need to bring?

The festival clothes, towels, and drinks. Fundoshi, Loincloth or Japanese socks are sold at the location mostly.

About application

Most festivals should be applied beforehand, but some accept participants on the day of the event too. However, people who have tattoos and who are drunk may be prohibited to join. Also wearing glasses or accessories may not be allowed because of safety reasons.
To be clear, it is best to ask the organizer about details.
Some small villages only accept Japanese, but no worries.

You can count on Huber, which is a guide matching platform that helps you out and makes your festival experience even more enjoyable!

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 a bit lost. They confuse about what is happening around. If you are new to Japanese Festivals or just 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 definitely try there. Please don`t hesitate to take a look at it!


Don’t Stay Hungry at the Festival!

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!


Izumi Sawada

A 21 year old girl who loves traveling and speaks 5+ languages. Don’t have any house and live on the earth literary. That kind of craziness is all I need in my life!

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