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[2024] Oni wa soto! Three Setsubun festivals in Kyoto that invite spring

Setsubun is a traditional Japanese event in February. The word "Setsubun" means "division of the seasons," and there are four Setsubun events in a year, but the most important one is generally held on the day before Risshun (February 3 this year).
In this issue, we introduce Setsubun events held at temples and shrines in Kyoto. Why don't you welcome spring by chanting "Oni wa soto, Fuku wa uchi" (Oni wa soto, Fuku wa uchi)?

1.[Ishimizu Hachimangu Shrine The Oniyarai ritual, with the chanting of "Oniyarou!

Ishimizu Hachimangu Shrine has been prayed to as the guardian deity of the capital. On the Sunday just before Setsubun, the "Oniyarai Ritual" is held. First, the "Oniyaraijin" shoots the four directions and this year's direction of blessing (east-northeast) with a peach bow, which is said to ward off evil spirits, and strikes the direction with a peach sword. Then, with the call of "Oniyaro," the "Oniyaraijin" throws beans at the demons that appear on the shrine grounds to drive them away, and serve blessed beans to the worshippers.
On the same day at 10:00 a.m., the "Yutate Shinji" ceremony will be held in connection with the sacred water. Kagura women sprinkle boiling water from a kettle with bamboo leaves and bathe in it to pray for good luck, good health, and a bountiful harvest.

Oniyarai ritual at Ishimizu Hachimangu Shrine

Date of the event/2024counter for years (following a number in the hito-futa-mi counting system)1month28Sun.
Time/ Date13:00〜tilde

Ishimizu Hachimangu Shrine

  • Iwashimizu-Hachiman Shrine
  • 30 Yawata Takabo, Yawata City, Kyoto, Japan
  • A short walk from Ishimizu Hachimangu Station on Keihan to Hachimangu-guchi Station on the cable
    5 min. walk from cable "Hachimangu Yamaue Station".
  • Tel. 075-981-3001

2.Setsubun Festival at Yoshida Shrine with many stalls / Yoshida

The Setsubun Festival is held for three days around Setsubun [Yoshida Shrine]. It is known as the grandest Setsubun Festival in Kyoto. During the Tsuina Ceremony, "Housouji", wearing a golden four-eyed mask and holding a shield and a spear, appears on stage to drive away the plague demons. The Ekishin Matsuri, held on the same day, is the shrine's unique way to ward off evil spirits and pray for good health and good fortune throughout the year. The fireplace ceremony, in which a fire is lit in a huge furnace to burn old charms and amulets, is a sacred sight to behold.

Setsubun Festival at Yoshida Shrine

Date / February 2 (Friday) to 4 (Sunday), 2024
2nd (Fri) Setsubun eve Festival, Epidemic Gods Festival, Tsuina Ceremony
Saturday, 3rd: Setsubun Day Festival, Fireside Furnace Festival
4th (Sun.) Setsubun Latter-day Festival
Stalls will be open only on Friday, 2nd and Saturday, 3rd.
*Sai Gyogyo hours are not disclosed to prevent infection.

Yoshida Shrine

  • Yoshida Shrine
  • 30, Yoshida Kaguraoka-cho, Sakyo-ku, Kyoto-shi, Kyoto
  • 5 min. walk from bus stop "Kyodai Seimon-mae".
    20 min. walk from Demachiyanagi Sta. of Keihan Railway
  • Tel. 075-771-3788

3.Exterminating three dancing demons! [Rozanji Temple's Tsuina Ceremony Onigafugaku / Kyoto Gosho area

Rozan-ji Temple is known as the oldest Setsubun event in Kyoto. In the Tsuina Ceremony, also known as "Oni-odori," three demons, each representing an affliction, appear in the hall. They carry torches and weapons, and dance to drive away the demons that try to interfere with the practice of Buddhism. After the Oni-odori dance is over, the white ogres, who have been exorcised of evil spirits, pray for people's recovery from illness and for their health.

Setsubun Festival at Rozanji Temple

Date / Saturday, February 3, 2024
Oni-odori (devil dance) 15:00- *Admission to the precincts may be restricted.

Lushan Temple

  • Rozanji
  • 397 Kitanobecho, Teramachi Dori Hirokoji Street, Kamigyo Ward, Kyoto City, Kyoto Prefecture
  • 4 minutes walk from bus stop "Prefectural Medical University Hospital"
    12 minutes walk from Keihan "Demachiyanagi Station"
  • Tel.075-231-0355
*Please note that the information contained herein is subject to change without notice.
*Since this site uses automatic translation, the translation may differ from the original Japanese content.


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