Mar 2
Mar 3
The inside of the temple lit by candles

Bishamondo Naked Man Festival, Urasa

One of Japan's most bizarre winter festivals

By Rufus Starbuck    - 1 min read
Venue: Bishamondo When: Mar 2 - Mar 3rd 2020, 6:00pm - 8:00pm

March 3rd each year sees the Naked Man Festival take place at Urasa's Bishamondo. It is known as one of the top three bizarre festivals in Japan and dates back hundreds of year. Semi-naked man parade through the streets to the temple accompanied by people carrying giant candles. Once they arrive, they jump into an icy pool of spring water. From there they dash into the main hall of the temple where there is a steaming mob of other men all pushing and shoving to try to squeeze through a small gap into the inner area.

It is a writhing mass of men, all chanting in unison, and lit by candles in an all-wooden building on a winter night – an impressive sight. The streets outside the temple are lined with stalls serving food and drinks, with barbecued fish in warm sake being a local favorite.

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Rufus Starbuck

Rufus Starbuck @rufus.starbuck

Hanging out in the mountains of Niigata. Arrived by accident and yet to leave. Seem to spend far too much time eating... 

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Kim B a week ago
It's been such a low-snow year this year that I'm curious to see how the event plays out!!
One of unique festivals in Japan. Wondering how cold they are without properly clothes in the winter.
Rufus Starbuck Author 3 years ago
I think the large quantities of sake they all drink probably helps a bit, though jumping into the icy pool can't be fun!