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Detour

If you're not busy this weekend, and happen to be in the Okayama prefecture in western Japan, drop by the Kannonin Temple in Saidaiji on Saturday night. It may be the coldest part of the year, but that won't deter thousands of fortune-seeking men from participating in the annual Hadaka Matsuri, or Naked Man Festival, on Feb. 20. Since 1504, masses of men in loincloths have jostled together to splash in the temple's frigid purification pool before swarming the steps like bridesmaids to grab shingi (lucky wooden batons) tossed by the temple priests at midnight into the scantily clad crowds. Spectators will feel welcome, if a tad overdressed.






Daily

February 22, 1999

Off The Shelf
Andaman and Beyond: Thailand's remarkable undersea world


Web Crawling
The PADI website should be the first online stop for anyone considering taking up diving


Short Cuts
ASEAN members offer a collective air pass to promote travel to the nine countries


Detour
It may be the coldest part of the year, but that won't deter thousands of fortune-seeking men from participating in the annual Naked Man Festival in Japan


Main Feature
A tidal wave of interest in diving has been a boon for destinations like Thailand and the Philippines



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