Best Places to Get Naked

by Danielle Pergament

HADAKA MATSURI, JAPAN

Naked truth: Japan dedicates an entire annual festival to the glory of nakedness. Oddly, this event takes place in wintertime. No matter, the annual Hadaka Matsuri, or "naked man" festivals, draw massive crowds throughout the country. Though the specifics vary by event and venue, the general idea is for lots of Japanese men and boys in nothing but loincloths to run to a shrine where they receive a water purification cleansing. Tip: The full monty is frowned upon—a thousand men in glorified thongs is one thing, but this is an age-old rite of passage.

Bodies of evidence: Imagine running with the bulls. Now instead of bulls, there are a thousand Japanese men dressed as sumo wrestlers. And instead of fear of being gored, there's the fear of not tying that T-shape cloth properly.

Best reason to bring a towel: To wipe your feet. Slipping on all that poured water is a real concern, and you don't have a whole lot of cushioning for your fall.

Don't forget your: Gore-Tex. Once all the fun is over, you'll remember this is still Japan in January, and hypothermia—and shrinkage—will be a cruel reality.

NEXT: Public transport, pants-free >

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Information may have changed since date of publication. Please confirm details with individual establishments before planning your trip.

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