Nanokado Hadaka Mairi Festival

Nanokado Hadaka Mairi Festival

Every year on January 7, the Naked Man Festival (Nanokado Hadaka Mairi) is held at Enzoji Temple, Yanaizu Town. During this traditional event - which draws many tourists every year - local men clad in loincloths make the challenging climb to the top of Enzoji Temple, in the hopes of ensuring happiness and protection from disease in the year to come. If you apply in advance, you might even get a chance to participate too!

Venue Details

Venue Details
Websitehttps://inbound.aizu-yanaizu.com/en/event/
Contact

Yanaizu Tourism Association
(+81) 241-42-2346
utochan@aizuyanaizu.sakura.ne.jp

(+81) 241-42-2346

Best Season
  • Winter
Related infoBest Season
Winter
Access Details
AccessEnzoji Temple, Jikemachi-ko 176, Yanaizu Town, Kawanuma District, Fukushima Pref. 969-7201
View directions
Getting there

By Car: 10 min drive from the Aizubange I.C. exit off the Ban-etsu Expressway (via Route 252)

By Train: 10 min walk from Aizu-Yanaizu Station on the JR Tadami Line

Nearby

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Suzuzen was established in 1832 as a lacquerware wholesale shop. Not only can visitors see process of lacquerware being finished using gold and silver dusted designs called 'Makie', but visitors can also have the opportunity to design their own lacquered product using Makie design techniques, which is perfect to take home as a souvenir. Booking & More InformationSuzuzen is made up of 6 kura (Japanese-style warehouses), which have been renovated. The Suzuzen warehouses include a gallery featuring pieces by contemporary artists who use lacquer in their work, and a cafe which is open for lunch. English-language signs also make the history of lacquer in Aizu accessible for overseas visitors.

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What is 'Akabeko'?The akabeko legend started at Enzoji Temple in Yanaizu Town, in the Aizu region. The construction of this temple began in the year 807, but due to a huge earthquake at the end of the seventeenth century, it had to be repaired in 1617. It was during the reconstruction of the temple that the akabeko became a folk legend.It is said that moving the wood and other supplies necessary for the reconstruction work was incredibly difficult because materials had to be transported from various villages upstream of the Tadami River. The materials were heavy and the journey to the temple was long. Cattle were used to transport materials, but many struggled to bear their loads.Then, out of nowhere, appeared a cow with a red coat. (It should be noted that, in the past, the word ‘red’ was used to describe the color ‘brown’, so it is likely that it was a brown cow.) The red cow supported the other cows and helped the priests who were constructing the temple until it was completed. Then, it suddenly vanished.'Akabeko' means 'red cow' in the local dialect.A number of statues of the cow were built inside the temple grounds so that the people of Yanaizu could express their gratitude to the akabeko.In the years following, there was a range of legends about the akabeko, with stories such as families who owned akabeko being rid of sickness upon stroking the cows. They continued to hold their status of bringers of good luck and strength. Families bought or made akabeko toys for their young children to play with.Akabeko Painting ExperiencesIn recent history, the Aizu tradition of painting akabeko began. It is said that this tradition started as something to do for children visiting Aizu-Wakamatsu City as part of school trips. This was when the story of the Akabeko evolved once more, into its newest papier-mâché form. The stripes on the face and back of the papier-mâché Akabeko are said to represent strength and perseverance.There are a number of workshops in Aizu-Wakamatsu City where you can paint your own Akabeko. Most workshops offer the standard red, white, and black paint. These talismans for good health make very cute and lightweight souvenirs to take home for family and friends – or keep for yourself! Those who prefer to buy a ready-painted Akabeko will be able to find it at most souvenir shops.BookingIf you would like to book an akabeko painting experience at the Tsurugajo Kaikan (a shopping complex located next to Tsurugajo Castle), please access this page.

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A little-known treasure, Aizu Hongo pottery (known in Japanese as 'hongo-yaki') is the oldest type of pottery in the Tohoku region. Aizu Hongo pottery's history dates back to the Warring States Period (1467 – 1615), when Ujisato Gamo, leader of the Aizu clan, ordered renovations be made to Tsurugajo Castle. The production of ceramic tiles for the castle roof kick-started the tradition of making pottery in Aizu-Misato Town. During the early 1600s, Masayuki Hoshina (who founded the Matsudaira house) invited ceramic craftsmen to Aizu-Misato from Owari - a region famous for its pottery - in order to increase the skills of locals.It was from this time that Aizu Hongo-yaki production began in earnest. At the peak of its popularity, there were more than 100 potteries in the town. There are currently 13 left, which are centered around Setomachi in Aizu-Misato. The rich variety of wares produced from workshop to workshop is just one of the fascinating things about visiting the area. Aizu-Misato Town is also known for the area's unusual ability to produce both great-quality earthenware and delicate porcelain.Please enjoy taking a look around the various shops, workshops, and kilns, and try making pottery for yourself!

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