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Averaging a high of 13°C a day (about 55°F), the Miyazaki winter is by no means brutal, but it takes some getting used to for a Southern-hemispherian like myself. Scraping ice off my car windows before work in the mornings has certainly been a new experience. Which is why I can't imagine wanting to take a dip in the ocean at this time of year. In January, however, over 9 000 people in Japan do precisely that. The Hadaka Matsuri (裸祭り), or Naked Man Festival, is a purification ritual that takes place at different locations all throughout the country. Despite it's name, it's open to both men and women. In Miyazaki, the festival happens on Coming of Age Day, which fell on the 12th this year, at Aoshima-jinja (青島神社). Since it was a public holiday, Mark and I decided to go check it out.

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Aoshima Japan Asia