Instead of bean-throwing, you toss joss sticks into a fire at this traditional Setsubun Festival.
What is Setsubun?
Celebrated to mark the end of winter and the day before spring begins on the old lunar calendar, Setsubun is an age-old Japanese ceremony thought to drive evil spirits from the house. Many people dress as demons and are herded out of businesses and houses by the bean-throwing occupants — it is a lot of fun and there are festivals all over Japan.
Dojima Yakushido does the festivities a little differently. Instead of mame-maki (bean throwing), it’s Goma-daki — tossing joss sticks into a fire. There’s also a water drawing ritual, called omizukumi, and visitors can receive water that has been blessed by a priest from famous Nara temple Yakushido, which is believed to have purifying properties.
In the shops and restaurants in the Kita-Shinchi area, customers and shop staff throw good-fortune beans at the demons to expel them. In some clubs, bar staff and hostesses dress in outrageous Obake costumes to add to the festive mood in the town.Organizers may cancel events, alter schedules, or change admission requirements without notice. Always check official sites before heading to an event.