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.
The Shirotori Obon Dance was held every summer for over 400 years in central Gifu until the pandemic changed everything.
Cycling: Slowing Down
After I’d finished I sat waiting a couple of kilometres from where the festival was about to start at a michi-no-eki and I wondered why I hadn’t just jumped in the car with everyone else.
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.
Festivals: Awa Odori 2010
Went to the Awa Odori Festival in Tokushima, Shikoku over the weekend. It’s easily the best festival I’ve ever been to and it never disappoints. I used to live in central Tokushima and think it’s one of the better cities in Japan to live in. Great people, easy to get around, and of course the…