Wait, Naked Festival ?? Well, don't worry. The men weren't entirely naked. Every year in Isumi City, Chiba Prefecture, the Japanese people celebrates the Oohara Hadaka ( Naked ) Festival. The festival is celebrated by hundreds of nearly naked males and females to wish for the good luck and the prosperity of the year. It is by far the most interesting festival I've ever seen.
The Oohara Hadaka Matsuri is one of the oldest and most famous festival. It managed to entice thousands of people to come to Oohara to watch the festival. In this festival, there are 18 mikoshi ( the portable shrine ). Each district forms a group and bring out their mikoshi from their local shrine to this place, and later they will carry the mikoshi into the sea. Each of this mikoshi represents local god. Only during this festival, the gods could gather together. The festival is celebrated each year on 23rd September.
Yes, girls and women were also there. They weren't naked though. Sorry to disappoint. :)
The photographers were ready to capture the moment.
One of them were too eager to take photos of the festival.
At the start of the festival, all the teams were rushing to make a few laps around the place, shouting and chanting while hoisting the heavy mikoshi up and down. As if they were competing with other teams.
There were hundreds ( or thousands ) of people participating in this festival.
After that, they all went down, close to the beach, and be prepared to get wet.
This ritual is called Shiofumi. They rushed to the sea with their mikoshi while fighting the strong waves.
Sorry I couldn't take a better photos of Shiofumi. There were just too many people in front of me.
I managed to shoot the dog in front of me though.
At the end of the day, the mikoshi paraded through the town for about one hour. Later they would all gathered at one place and started to run in circles carrying the 18 mikoshi and lanterns for a while.
And that was the end of the festival. It was so much fun. If you live in Japan, this is definitely one of the festival that you should not miss.