Saidaiji Eyo – Hadaka Matsuri “Naked Man Festival” in Okayama City

Okayama City, Saidaiji
Febuary 17, 2018

This over 500 year old night festival lasts an entire day and is full of events that are designed to get the entire community involved.  For the Saidaiji Eyo, the entire world is the community because people from around the country and across the globe, make their way there to participate. In fact, anyone can join but it is necessary to fill out a simple registration form in advance.

It is hard to believe that roughly 9000 men vie for a chance to take hold of one of one hundred fortune sticks that are thrown from a temple window. It clearly is not about actually catching one of these sticks that are said to ensure a year of good fortune to its bearer because you only have a one in ninety chance to get one! The fact is that is that there is a chance, so it is worth it just to try.

Beyond the fortune sticks, the Saidaiji Eyo is a fertility festival that offers wishes for a bountiful harvest for the New Year. It also welcomes the coming spring in much the way the Chinese Year does (it happens the same time). There are many activities for visitors to participate in that do not involve wearing a loincloth in the bitter cold and venturing into a throng of Eyo participants. There are food stalls set up as well but perhaps the coolest place to be is Gofuku Dori Showa Retro Street after dark. The locals light up lanterns and open their shop fronts on this one of a kind yearly occasion.

A typical schedule for the Saidaiji Eyo Festival would start from 3pm and progress in the following fashion:

  1.       The Children’s Saidaiji Eyo (For elementary school boys)
  2.       Gofukuzutsu Soudatsu and Houzutsu Soudatsu (activities for boys from 3rd to 6th grade)
  3.       Hounou Enbu (Dance performance)
  4.       Eyo Daiko (traditional drum performance by women)
  5.       Fireworks -7 pm
  6.       Shingi Touka main event where the sacred fortune sticks are thrown- 10pm

About the Area

Okayama City is best known for its black ‘crow castle’ and adjacent Kourakuen Garden, but this city is undergoing rapid change and growth which has created new attractions for visitors. Momotaro Odori is the central boulevard that runs from the east side of Okayama Station toward the museum-rich Cultural Zone. The Prefectural Museum of Art, located a few blocks off the end of Momotaro Odori, showcases Japanese artists and regularly exhibits works on consignment from international museums and private collections. At the heart of the city, Okayama Station is a transportation hub and a nexus for shopping and dining.

Access: Take the Ako Line from JR Okayama Station to JR Saidaiji Station. Saidaiji Kannon-in Temple is about a 7-minute walk from JR Saidaiji Station.

Cancellation Policy

1) Detailed tour information & conditions will be given after application is made; please read and confirm the final itinerary before the departure date.
2) Reservations: Fill out the application contact form; application is complete upon payment. Reservations accepted by phone, mail, fax, online, or other communicative methods. The contract is not valid at time of reservation; the customer will be asked to submit an application form and payment within 3 days from time of reservation. If application form and payment are not submitted within the term, the reservation shall be considered void.
3) Items not included in tour price: Transportation costs not included in itinerary, optional tour fees, excess baggage fees, any fees of a personal nature (phone bills, meal costs, etc.) Items excluded from the tour will be stated in the tour information.
4) Cancellation fees: When the application is cancelled by the customer or when payment has not been made by the specified date, Ryobi Tours shall receive a percentage of the per person tour fee as a cancellation fee, or a penalty fee. Differences in room charges that result from one person in a group cancelling shall be charged to the participating person(s).

Cancellation Date Up to 21 days prior 20-8 days prior 7-2 days prior Day prior to start of tour Day of tour After start of tour/non-participation with no contact
Cancellation Fee No charge 20% of tour fee 30% of tour fee 40% of tour fee 50% of tour fee 100% of tour fee