Every year on the 3rd of February, the festival of Setsubun takes place all over Japan. Evil spirits are ritually cast out, and prayers are offered seeking good health for family members. In Kofu, however, since long ago the festival has also served as a celebration of the arrival of Spring, with ceremonies and festivities taking place at the Daijingu Shrines (the chief shrine of each area), in Yokokinju-machi and Yanagi-machi. Beginning around dusk and going on until around 8:30pm, people dressed as ‘oni’ (demons), scatter soy beans as they make their way through the streets – lively with spectators who have come in the hopes of acquiring various blessings, such as thriving businesses or familial safety.
The road side is lined with street stalls selling a variety of lucky charms, including dharma dolls, bamboo rakes and rice-based sweets.
Time & date: 3rd February from 18:00 until approx. 20:30.