Japanese are known across the globe for their quirky contests, and the All-National Hole-Digging Contest is right up there with the wackiest.
This yearly event takes place at the beginning of February, at the Narita Dream Dairy Farm, just east of Tokyo. This year, over a thousand people from all over Japan showed up for a chance to win the coveted Golden Shovel award. There are a lot of families and groups of friends, but the most numerous are those who are ‘professionals’, who dig for a living, such as gas company workers or those who deal with the water supply.” says a public relation official of the offbeat competition.
Participants grouped in around 200 teams had 30 minutes to dig as deep as possible, without throwing dirt in their competitors’ holes. But while depth is important in such an event, contenders are also judged on the creativity of their hole, and the originality of their digging suites. So while some tried to dig as fast as they could, others preferred a different approach. For example, one of the teams used the dirt they dug up to build a small pyramid next to the hole.
The winners of this year’s hole digging contest managed to dig a 3.26-meter-deep hole, and took home the 100,000 yen ($1,215) cash prize. It didn’t exactly make them rich men, but it was an original way to spend a Sunday.
After the competition ended, the holes were refilled and the area was leveled and prepared for next year’s competition. So if you have skills with a shovel, this is a competition you don’t want to miss.