Hadaka Mairi Pilgrimage


Morioka City, Iwate Pref.

Over 400 Years Night See Tohoku

About the festival

The average temperature of Morioka in January is -2℃. In the midst of a cold snow, local men form a procession to visit the shrine clad in nothing but their bare skin, wrapped in a cloth called "sarashi," a straw wrap called "koshi mino" and straw sandals, for what is known as the Hadaka Mairi, or "naked pilgrimage." It is a form of "Kan Mairi," which is a winter visit to a holy place in hopes of receiving further blessings through enduring the harsh trip to arrive there. Some people visit with personal wishes, some in order to pray for a new year free of sickness and disaster, while others who are in their unlucky year, or "yakudoshi," visit to receive a cleansing of misfortunes known as "yakubarai." The festival's history goes back over 400 years and is still held in temples and shrines all throughout Morioka City. The oldest running Hadaka Mairi of them all is at Kyojoji Temple, while the largest and most famous one is at Morioka Hachimangu Shrine where over 130 pilgrims participate in the procession. 
When the sun goes down and the temperature drops below zero, the visitors in the procession calmly walk in the "Yatsu Aruki" formation as they head toward their respective place of worship. Ringing handbells with every step, they sing rounds of melodies in unison that echo throughout the winter city. You can almost feel the solemness in the air as they walk step by step along the frozen road with wishes of prosperous days ahead.

140 Reh Hadaka Mairi

Things to do

1. Watchover as the men brave the cold!

140 Re1 1 Hadaka Mairi

The pilgrims in this festival wear a cloth (sarashi) and straw wrap (koshi nomi) around their waste and straw sandals on their feet. The paper that they hold in their mouths contains a small amount of hot pepper which prevents the invasion of evil spirits. The long pole that they carry and swing side to side is called "hasami." The "heisoku" is the holy object made of paper sandwiched between to planks of Japanese cedar. In order to rid yourself of the human desires that disturb the mind, you carry 108 pieces, while 88 stands for a rich harvest. Come and watch over these men as they brave the cold until their skin turns red.

Information (基本情報)

  • Festival Dates Dates differ according to the temple or shrine
    Kokuzo-Do (a part of Futai'in Temple)
    January 12th, 2019, 4:00pm to 5:00pm.

    Kyojoji Temple
    January 14th, 2019, 5:30pm.
    (Burning of old good luck charms starts from 4:30pm)

    Morioka Hachimangu Shrine
    Jan 15th, 2019, approx. 4:30pm.
    Procession starts in front of the Kita Nippon Bank on the Sakanacho shopping street.
    Departs at 4:45. Groups depart every 15mins from there on. Last group departs at 5:45.
    (Donto Matsuri starts from 10:00am)

    Sakekai Jizo (a part of Eisho'in Temple)
    January 13th, 2019, 5:00pm.

    Asakusa Kannon
    January 20th, 2019, scheduled from 6:00pm to 7:00pm

    Sakurayama Shrine
    January 26th, 2019, departures at 4:30pm, and at 5:00.
    Arrival to the shrine is at around 6:00pm.
    (Donto Matsuri is from 1:00pm)

    Dainichi Nyorai
    The 2017 festival has been canceled.
  • Place Information inside the (parenthesis) refers to the path the procession takes.

    Kokuzo-Do (From Senbokucho Station to Kokuzo-Do)

    Kyojoji Temple (From in front of the Morioka Prefectural Visual Support School to Kyojoji Temple)

    Sakekai Jizo (From South side of Zaimokucho shopping street headed North, return, take a side alley to Eisho'in Temple)

    Morioka Hachimangu Shrine (From in front of the Kita Nippon Bank on the Sakanacho shopping street, through Hachiman Dori street to Morioka Hachimangu Shrine)

    Asakusa Kannon (From Yugaosecho Community Center, under the JR line, U-turn at the Kita Nippon Bank Josei Branch, back under JR line to Asakusa Kannon)

    Sakurayama Shrine
    First Departure (Team Sect 3) (From Ishikawa Clinic in Shimizucho, to Sakanacho shopping street Hotline Sakanacho through JTB and center street Chuo Dori to Sakurayama Shrine)
    Second Departure (Team Sect 6) (From across the street from Uchimaru Hospital, through Otesaki to Sakurayama Shrine on the Prefectural building side)

    Dainichi Nyorai (From Kagano Community Center to Dainichi Nyorai)
  • General Participation Not available
  • Restrooms Please use the restrooms offered at each of the temples and shrines.
    There are some that do not have restrooms regularly but will for the festival.
  • Contact Kokuzo-Do

    Kyojoji Temple

    Sakekai Jizo

    Morioka Hachimangu Shrine

    Asakusa Kannon/Dainichi Nyorai (Morioka Tourist Convention Association)

    Sakurayama Shrine

Rules & Manners(参加のルール&マナー)

Please do not cut through the procession line for any reason. (It is thought that the wishes will be cut as well. If you must cross a road, please wait until the procession passes)
Please dress warmly as it is very cold.

Access Map (アクセスと地図)

Access to Morioka City

[Nearest Station]
JR Morioka Station

Festival Locations

Address: 2-22-48 Senboku
Bus: Ride from platform 13 or 14 towards Senbokucho (15min).
5min walk from Senbokucho bus stop.

Kyojoji Temple
Address: 1-13-25
Bus: Ride the "Byoin Mawari" Line from platform 12. Get off at "Morioka Shikaku Shien Gakko Mae" Bus stop, 5min walk. 
(Two bus routes: Right Route, 9min ride. Left route, 10min ride)

Sakekai Jizo
Address: 4-10 Zaimokucho
Bus: Take the "Dendenmushigo" from platform 15 (Right route, 3min). Get off at "Zaimokucho Minamiguchi," 3min walk.

Morioka Hachimangu Shrine
Address: 13-1 Hachimancho
Bus: From Morioka Station ride from platform 5 towards "Chabatake" (15min ride), get off at "Hachimangu Mae," 1min walk.

Asakusa Kannon
Address: 9-1 Yugaosecho
6min walk from Morioka Station

Sakurayama Shrine
Address: 1-42 Uchimaru
Bus: From Morioka Station take the "Dendenmushigo" from platform 15 (Left route, 7min), get off at "Morioka Castle Ruins Park," 3min walk.

Dainichi Nyorai
Address: 3-14-1 Kagano
Bus: From Morioka Station take the Asagishi Line from platform 12 (20min), get off at "Kagano Kominkan Mae," 5min walk.

Yoko Daimon
seeking old local traditional culture and food as my lifetime’s work.