Events, Festivals and Exhibitions

Japan Naked Festival, Okayama (Hadaka Matsuri)

17 February


The Japan naked festival Hadaka Matsuri is a 1,250 year old celebration that sees thousands of loin cloth clad men and women gather at temples around Japan

, ,
Loading Events
  • This event has passed.

The Saidaiji Eyo Hadaka Matsuri in Okayama, colloquially known as the naked festival, is the largest of a series of similar festivals held around Japan. Thousands of naked people – well nearly naked, as they are wearing loin cloths – brave the cold February weather to compete for offerings thrown to them from the priests at the Saidaiji Kannon-in Temple in Okayama, in a frenzied take on the wedding bouquet rites.

Saidaiji Kannon-in Temple worships the thousand-armed Kannon and marks the start of the Chugoku Pilgrimage.

The people of Okayama have been carrying on this practice for more than 500 years. Originally it marked the end of the novice priests’ ascetic New Year training. Paper talismen or go-o were cast into the gathered throng by priests, and the more that were caught, the greater the luck that would befall the recipient for the forthcoming year.

As many as 10,000 men – and now women – clad solely in loin cloths and tabi socks run around the temple grounds and through a freezing fountain, in order to purify both their body and souls. Their aim is to catch scented wooden sticks or shingi, which will bring them luck for the forthcoming year. Alternatively, they might just catch a cold. There is also a child-friendly version of the event.

Read on to discover more about Japan Winter Festivals.

Don’t worry if things get too cold for you, as the shopkeepers of Go Fuku Dori open their doors to provide much needed warm hospitality, as well as a bit of sake if good fortune smiles upon you.

If you wish to join in the festival, ensure you sign up in advance, otherwise you might be lacking your loin cloth.

Getting to the Japan Naked Festival

To get to the festival, simply take the Ako Line from JR Okayama Station and disembark at Saidaiji Station. From there it is about a ten-minute walk.

Where is the Japan Naked Festival (Hadaka Matsuri)

One of the largest festivals is at Saidaiji Kannon-in Temple in Okayama, Japan. The naked festival also takes place at other locations in Japan. Another popular location for the naked festival is the Konomiya Shrine in central Japan and Kokuseki Temple in northern Japan. Kokuseki Temple has announced that 2024 will be the last one it will hold due to lack of willing younger participants but the naked festival will continue at other locations.

When is the Japan Naked Festival (Hadaka Matsuri)

The festival is held on the third Saturday in February which in 2024 falls on 17 February.

No longer the Naked Man Festival – Women can now join Hadaka Matsuri

The festival was previously restricted to men only and commonly known as the Naked Man Festival, but as of 2024 women are allowed to join in for the first time.

More information about the Japan Naked Festival (Hadaka Matsuri)

Click here for information about travel in Japan. Like with all events at the moment, it is best to check what exactly is going ahead before you make any firm plans.


17 February


Saidaiji Kannon-in Temple
Okayama,Chūgoku RegionJapan+ Google Map

Explore Topics

Mark Bibby Jackson

Mark Bibby Jackson

Before setting up Travel Begins at 40, Mark was the publisher of AsiaLIFE Cambodia and a freelance travel writer. When he is not packing and unpacking his travelling bag, Mark writes novels, including To Cook A Spider and Peppered Justice. He loves walking, eating, tasting beer, isolation and arthouse movies, as well as talking to strangers on planes, buses and trains whenever possible. Most at home when not at home.

Read more posts by Mark Bibby Jackson →

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *