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[1-Day Event: Feb. 17th] Check out the Naked Man Festival at Saidaiji, Okayama

[1-Day Event: Feb. 17th] Check out the Naked Man Festival at Saidaiji, Okayama

The Saidaiji Eyo Matsuri, better known as the “Hadaka Matsuri” or the “Naked Man Festival, is the largest and most famous of its kind in Japan. It has also been designated an Important Intangible Folk Cultural Asset. About 9,000 men wearing only loincloths and tabi socks brave the cold and try to compete in catching two lucky talismans called shingi that the priest throws out into the crowd. Catching the talismans and carrying them to a designated spot without having them stolen signifies good luck for the year (and means winning a large cash prize as well!).

Thousands of men competing for a lucky talisman.
(Source: https://www.okayama-japan.jp/en/event/19670)

The festival is held annually on the third Saturday of February; the firework display starts at 7:00 p.m., and the lucky shingi talismans are thrown out at 10:00 p.m. There are plenty of food vendors set up around the temple grounds if you want to have a snack while waiting for the dramatic climax of the festival.

Thousands of men in loincloths on a cold night in February.
(Source: https://www.okayama-japan.jp/en/event/19670)

Date & Time: Saturday, February 17, 2024

Location: Kannon-in Temple in Saidaiji, Okayama; the temple is about a 10-minute walk from JR Saidaiji Station, but the trains will stop running before the festival ends, so please find an alternative way to get back to Okayama City afterwards (taxi, etc.).

Fee: VIP seating is 5,000 yen per seat, and the standing area inside the temple grounds is 1,000 yen. Other areas are free-of-charge. Bring money for snacks, etc.

Other info: Dress warmly!! Also, wear comfortable shoes that you don’t mind getting muddy.

For more information, click here:
1) About the history of the festival, see this page: https://www.saidaiji.jp/eyou/
(You may want to use an extension to translate pages in Japanese.)
2) For past live streams of festivals in previous years, see this channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC2zurrumVVXwldLX1BwJYqA
3) Read a first-hand account of a participant’s experience: https://en.japantravel.com/okayama/naked-man-festival/1475

Fireworks start at 19:00 behind the temple grounds.
(Souce: https://www.okayama-japan.jp/en/event/19670)



I'm from the U.S.A., but I've lived longer in Okayama. I'm a sake sommelier, certified by the Sake Sommelier Association in London. I love traveling in Japan, beautifully presented food and desserts, great art, taking photos, hiking and walking, visiting gardens, and spending time with family and friends.