Arai Matsuri

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Arai Matsuri

Held in order to ensure good health, ample harvests and protection from disasters, the endlessly curious Arai Matsuri's origins reach back 160 years. On the day, families in the area eat a special meal, prepared without using fire, while nearby Omiya Shrine is decorated with artefacts modelled on the private parts of both men and women. Other attractions include a lion dance performed to pray for health and fertility, while local kids participate by barricading the shrine and throwing daikon radish at the priests. Sure, it's held out in the middle of nowhere, but anyone looking for a unique festival experience should see this one at least once.