In Japan, Setsubun takes place on February 3rd annually. It literally means the time of seasonal transitions, and this transitional day falls on the day before the beginning of each of the four seasons. In particular, Risshun (the beginning of spring) is considered significant because it is the beginning of the entire year as well. Thus, Japanese people historically celebrated the day by getting rid of Oni (demons) and inviting Fuku (good luck). In practice, people throw beans (likened to Oni) outside the house while chanting “Oniwa Soto, Fukuwa Uchi “ (Demons, go away, good luck, come inside). Some follow a tradition of eating as many beans as their age.


I wanted to introduce some Setsubun events in our area. If you missed these events this year, try again next year.


Setsubun Festival at Kushida Shrine and Tochoji (Tocho Temple)

A large Setsubun festival is held every year on February 3rd at both Kushida Shrine and Tochoji.


At Kushida Shrine, you can view a huge display of Otafuku mask (humorous mask of a woman) and participate in bean-throwing events that take place at the Noh Stage approximately every 30 minutes.


At Tochoji, actors wearing the masks of Shichifukujin (Seven Deities of Good Luck) and Otafuku participate in a very lively bean-throwing festival. Amazake (sweet fermented rice drink) is also served. The bean-throwing events take place every 30 minutes and Amazake is served until it is gone.


When: February 3rd, every year


Where: Kushida Shrine (1-14 Kami Kawabata, Hakata-ku)

Access: 5 minute walk from Gion Station on Subway Line

Hours: 10:00 am to 4:00 pm

Admission: Free


Where: Tochoji (2-4 Gokushomachi, Hakata-ku)

Access: at Gion Station on Subway Line

Hours: 10:00 am to 6:00 pm (Pre-festival Day 2/2 1:00 pm to 6:00pm)

Admission: Free