Kōnomiya Hadaka Matsuri – Naked Man Festival
I’ve never been to the main event. Mainly because it’s usually takes place at around 3 am in early February with thousands of people and the occasional death. It was also postponed for a few years due to the pandemic but things got back to normal last year.
Festival: Gujo Matsuri
The big brother/sister to the Shirotori Festival is the Gujo Hachiman festival just a few kilometres south in central Gifu.
The Shirotori Obon Dance was held every summer for over 400 years in central Gifu until the pandemic changed everything.
Festivals: Owara Kaze no Bon / おわら風の盆
I first went to the Owara Kaze no Bon festival (おわら風の盆) in September, 2008. Compared to other summer festivals in Japan it’s a fairly subdued affair, but it makes up for that in the beauty on display. Japan, so undeniably ugly at times – think of all the concreted river banks, bland convenience stores, and…
Festivals: Fire Festival
This is going out there as an outdoor adventure. Midnight, deep in Gifu, fire, samurai, tradition. Godo-cho, Gifu.
Festivals: Awa Odori
There are a few reasons why I live in Japan and the Awa Odori is one of them. I can’t imagine not being able to jump in the car and head west every summer. I miss it already. There are plenty of photos of the dancers dancing everywhere so here are a few of them…
Festivals: Hounen Matsuri
It was nonetheless a bizarre sight to see a giant wooden penis being carried down the road I cycle along daily by sake-fuelled men and women cradling wooden penises. Equally bizarre was the sight of some of the visitors dressed up in fancy dress.
India: Kumbh Mela Police
I have to be honest, the naked Naga Babas at the Kumbh Mela didn’t really interest me. But the police did. More to follow. Maybe.