Okayama will be a great vacation destination for travelers who have long dreamed of getting closer to the traditions and culture of Japan. The national color is felt in everything, including the townspeople's love for traditional holidays, cooking, and art. All restaurants specializing in Japanese cuisine are necessarily decorated in keeping with national traditions. They have wooden furniture and traditional Japanese lanterns in the halls.
Okayama residents also cherish customs associated with national costumes. Traditional clothes are worn on all holidays and special occasions. The national costume is an obligatory attribute of the tea ceremony and many other rituals. Throughout the year, Okayama holds many sumptuous holidays, mostly of religious nature. The most unusual celebration attracting lots of tourists is the annual Hadaka Matsuri Festival held in February. The name of the event can be literally translated as "Naked Festival".
It is celebrated in all cities of Japan, but Okayama's festival is considered to be the biggest one. The history of the festival has more than 500 years, and Saidai-ji Temple serves as the main venue. Here they perform an unusual ritual, in which only men can take part. For this, men put on special loincloths, which become their only piece of clothing. Several hundred men gather in the temple's courtyard in order to literally "catch their luck". The culmination of the festival is catching the special amulets that are thrown into the crowd by the monks.