3 Reasons Why Tourists Have to Attend the Setsubun Festival in Sensoji Temple

Setsubun Festival marks the beginning of spring season. In Japan, people could celebrate the commencement of spring by attending a “spring-cleaning” ritual in local schools, homes or temples like Sensoji Temple, in which their misfortune would be cast away with a special kind of food. Want to know what it is? Check out what Tokyo.com has prepared for you below!

1. Beans!

Tokyo, Setsubun Bean

Yes, that is what they use to clean in spring. The beans in the rituals are called fukumame; they symbolize the weapons used to vanquish devils and negativity of all forms. People sprinkle the beans both inside and outside their houses while saying the lucky phrase “Oni wa soto, fuku wa uchi!”(Devils out, happiness in!). Beans need to be thrown outdoors from inside while chanting “oni wa soto,” and they also need to be thrown indoors from outside while saying “fuku wa uchi.” Finally finish the ritual by eating the same number of beans as your age but don’t forget to eat an extra one for good health and fortune in the coming new year!

2. Ehou-maki

Tokyo, Setsubun Sushi Roll

In addition to the bean-throwing event, Japanese also eat “ehou-maki” sushi rolls for dinner while facing the auspicious direction welcoming good luck for the new year. “Ehou-maki” literally translates to fortune rolls and this year people should face north-north-west’s direction for good luck. The “ehou maki” eating tradition originated in Kansai region but the popular custom spread all over Japan by 2000.

3. Traditional Temples Add Flavour to the Festival

Tokyo, Setsubun Throwing Bean

Major temples in Tokyo nowadays hold grand ceremonies for Setsubun, but Sensoji Temple has no problem in attracting large crowds up to 100,000 people each year. Sensoji Temple opened in 645 AD, stood the test of time and is considered one of the most respected Buddhist temples in Japan. Experience the traditional Setsubun festival in a traditional temple.

Date: February 3rd, 2017
Opening hours: Ceremony commences at 2pm
Address: 2-3-1 Asakusa, Taitou-ku, Tokyo
Tel: +81 3-3842-0181
Website: https://www.gotokyo.org/en/kanko/taito/event/setubun.html?PHPSESSID=ahtrg4g37fbo9pt18fdnplvst7
Admission: Free