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Setubun (Kyoto visitor’s Guide)

2017/01/29

Setsubun Getting rid of misfortune & welcoming spring

February 3rd, which is one day before Risshun (the first day of spring according to the lunar calendar), is called Setsubun in Japan. It’s not a national holiday, but is widely celebrated throughout the country. Mame maki (bean throwing) ceremonies are performed on the day. Traditionally, people throw roasted soy beans throughout their home, shouting ”oni wa soto” (demons out) and ”fuku wa uchi” (fortune in). These beans are called fuku mame (fortune beans). It is believed that people will be healthy and happy if they eat the number of fuku mame equal to their age. Eating fortune sushi rolls is another Japanese custom on Setsubun. You should face south-southeast this year while you silently eat your sushi roll. Bean throwing ceremonies are held at many temples and shrines around the country. People visit there to get beans and thus obtain good fortune. Visit shrines and temples near you in Kyoto on Setsubun!

 
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© Takayoshi Horiuchi (Staff for one)

Feb. 2 & 3
Yasaka Shrine

The ceremony starts from 13:00; Auspicious soy bean scattering, ama-sake (Japanese sweet sake) service and amulet offering; On these two days beautiful maiko from all four of Kyoto’s flower towns will visit this shrine and scatter beans (dance from 13:00).

Access: Kyoto City Bus #206, get off at Gion;

Tel: 075-561-6155; www.yasaka-jinja.or.jp

 

Feb. 2-4
Yoshida Shrine

This is the largest Setsubun festival in the city; Attending is believed to help in warding off misfortune; During the event people come to burn old amulets, papers and other personal possessions in a huge bonfire; A number of food stalls lined up along the approach to the shrine and are open until very late; The Setsubun ritual is from 18:00 on the 2nd; On the 3rd, the Karo-sai festival will be held from around 23:00 and its grounds will be packed with many people!

Access: Kyoto City Bus #206, get off at Kyodai Seimon-mae; Tel: 075-771-3788;
www.yoshidajinja.com

 

Feb. 3 Heian Jingu Shrine Kyogen performance: 11:30-14:00; Setsubun Festival: from 13:00; Auspicious bean scattering from 15:00; Setsubun bon fire: from 16:00; Free ama-sake (Japanese sweet sake) service (all day). 

Access: Kyoto City Bus #5, get off at Okazaki Koen/Bijutsukan, Heian Jingumae; Tel: 075-761-0221; www.heianjingu.or.jp

 

 

 

setsubun-heian

写真 © Takayoshi Horiuchi (Staff for one)

 

 

Feb. 3 Rozan-ji Temple

The temple’s Setsubun ritual is known as Oni Odori (demon dance). The oni demon dance: from 15:00, and bean scattering from 16:00, old amulet burning from 17:00.

Access: Kyoto City Bus #205, get off at Furitsu Idai Byoin-mae; Tel: 075-231-0355

 

 

 

 

 

 

setsubun-rozan

写真 © Takayoshi Horiuchi (Staff for one)

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