Unique Festivals of Japan: Niigata's Naked Pushing Festival

Japan has many reasons that make it a worthy travel spot. Incredible food, historic sights to visit, gorgeous nature, and super fun festivals! There are many different festivals held year-round in Japan, and some of the most unique draw the biggest crowds. One of those unique festivals is held annually in Niigata, and is known as the Naked Pushing Festival.
DSC_0034.JPG 6.92 MB

Even though the event is held in a small town in the Niigata countryside, there were plenty of people present to watch the festivities! So what is the festival all about?
DSC_0019.JPG 6.69 MB
Well, the naked part of the festival is fairly self explanatory! The participants are dressed in next to nothing - and Niigata winters are chilly! It's pretty common to see a few bottles of local sake being passed around and enjoyed by the participants, perhaps in an effort to keep warm!
DSC_0041.JPG 6.99 MB

The pushing part of the festival is the race that happens to be first to worship Bishamon, the God of the temple that the event is held at. Participants will push and jostle their way to be first in line to pay their respects. That means plenty of running too, which makes for an environment similar to a sporting event!
DSC_1042.JPG 6.36 MB

I'd be remiss not to mention that if you're there (or at any of Japan's festivals!) you need to enjoy some fabulous festival food. They had plenty of tasty eats on offer, from okonomiyaki to yakisoba, takoyaki, taiyaki and many more. Make sure you try a few different things - your taste buds will thank you!
DSC_1015.JPG 6.9 MB

The Naked Pushing Festival is held at the Bishamondo Temple, Niigata Prefecture - be sure to check it out if you're in the area for a skiing or boarding trip in late February/early March. Map details can be found below.

Enjoy Japan, and Safe Travels!

this is japan