مهرجان كونوميا هاداكا ماتسوري (مهرجان الرجال العراة) 裸祭り
A festival of 9,000 semi-naked men with with one common goal: to touch god
For the sleepy Aichi Town of Konomiya, the Lunar New Year brings together thousands of loincloth-clad participants and eager supporters, all sharing the same desire of ridding the city of bad luck.
The festival takes place annually on the 13th day of the lunar calendar, so it always changes dates in February or March
Its origins can be traced back 12 centuries as a way of combatting plague and pestilence
How to Get There
Konomiya Hadaka Matsuri is accessible by train.
From Kanayama Station in Nagoya , take the Meitetsu Line to Konomiya Station. From here it's less than ten minutes to Owari Okunitama-jinja Shrine (Konomiya-jinja Shrine), where the event is held.
A naked festival
Start the day by watching teams from all over the city wear no more protection from the late winter chill than a tiny loincloth and a few swigs of fortifying sake as they parade through the town.
Gather with the other spectators along the passage to Konomiya-jinja Shrine and cheer as the local groups demonstrate their strength and dexterity with large bamboo poles, spinning them furiously and climbing their great heights before hurrying them into the shrine.
Winter chill, icy water, and a semi-deity
As the sun goes down, you may begin to feel the chill, but not nearly as much as those still wearing next to nothing and being cannoned by buckets of icy water. But still they will be shouting their rallying cry as they await the shin-otoko "god-man."
One young man is chosen to be the shin-otoko, and for days leading up to the festival is kept in solitude and prayer. Finally, he's shaved from head to toe and sent out into the crowds. Upon his arrival, watch on as the thousands of semi-naked men strive to touch the shin-otoko to transfer their future misfortune on to him. Finally, the god-man will be pulled into the temple grounds, as you and the thousands of other supporters cheer on the success.