Setsubun Festivals at Many Shrines in Kyoto — February 2nd – 3rd
Setsubun is the day when winter ends and spring starts. It’s a tradition and a festival at the same time. People throw beans inside and outside their homes, saying “oni ha soto, fuku ha uchi”. It means, “ogre, get out of here, happiness, come inside”. In addition, many shrines host an event to celebrate setsubun. The following temples are popular destinations when it comes to setsubun.
Setsubun Eve : February 2nd 8:00 —
Oniyarai (Chase-off Trouble Ceremony): February 2nd 18:00
Setsubun: February 3rd 8:00 —
Karousai (Amulet Burn Ceremony): February 3rd 23:00 —
Subsequent Setsubun Festival: February 4th 9:30 —
Fukumame Lottery: February 4th 13:00 — (Fukumame (happy beans) are available for 200 yen)
Throwing Beans Ceremony & Dance Performance:
February 2nd 13:00, 14:00, 15:00, 16:00 (no dance performance)
February 3rd 11:00, 13:00, 15:00, 16:00 (no dance performance)
Heian Jingu Shrine
The ceremony called “Dainanogi” follows the chase-off evil spirit ceremony conducted at the beginning of the Heian Era (794 — 1185). Also, a traditional theatrical performance called Kyogen will be held as well.
Kyogen: February 3rd 12:00
Setsubun: February 3rd 13:00
Dainanogi: February 3rd 14:00
Throw Beans Ceremony: February 3rd 15:00
Kyoto Marathon — February 21st
Kyoto Marathon is an annual marathon event held in Kyoto City. It’s a great experience to run through this historical city while viewing many prestigious spots and beautiful mountains. This also means that there are many streets in Kyoto which will be exceptionally busy. The sightseeing spots, which will not be affected by this event, are Kiyomizudera Temple, Fushimi Inari Shrine, Tofukuji Temple and so on. For more information on this topic, read “Kyoto Marathon: 3 Spots to Visit, 3 Spots Not to Visit“.Kyoto Marathon starts at Nishikyogoku Stadium at 9:00 and finishes at Heian Jingu Shrine at 15:00.
Plum Blossoms Ceremony at Kitano Tenmangu Shrine — Feburary 25th
Kitano Tenmangu Shrine annually hosts a plum blossoms ceremony on February 25th. This event commemorates the God enshrined here, Michizane Sugawara, and also commemorates a large scale tea party held at this shrine in 1587, hosted by Toyotomi Hideyoshi who ruled the country in 1590. A cup of Japanese tea and a sweet is provided for 1500 yen from 10:00 – 15:00. In addition, there will be a Shinto ceremony and traditional dance performance by Maikos/Geikos from nearby Hanamachi (geisha district) at 10:00. 600 yen is required to enter into their plum garden.