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In Japan, the beginning of February symbolizes the welcoming of the spring through the many practices of the Setsubun celebrations. Many temples and shrines hold bean throwing events in preparation for welcoming the spring and purifying the evil.

Bean throwing is referred to as mamemaki(豆まき) in Japanese and the custom of throwing “lucky beans” is practiced all over Japan.

Bean-throwing has the purpose of disposing evil spirits and bringing good fortune in our houses and lives.

As mamemaki is a custom practiced every year, people often gather to temples or shrines to celebrate it. During Setsubun, there are also many unique events where you can even win prizes, meet your favorite characters, eat delicious food and have a good time with your family.

Below I will introduce a few of the famous places for mamemaki and if you plan on visiting Japan during Setsubun, I recommend trying out enjoying this custom and participating in the many events held during this period.

1. Naritasan Shinshoji Temple(成田山新勝寺) in Chiba

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Naritasan Shinshoji is a Buddhist temple located in Chiba, Narita City. You can easily go there from Narita airport as it isn’t too far away and have fun during the event while exploring the surroundings.

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Around the temple, you will discover a lot of nature, a beautiful park and even an alley known as Naritasan’s Omotesando and filled with restaurants, souvenir shops and plenty of traditional items you can choose from.

Naritasan Shinshoji Official Website


2.Ikegami Honmonji Temple(池上本門寺) in Tokyo

Located in Southern Tokyo, the Nichiren Buddhist temple is a place frequently visited by tourists. Annually, on the 3rd of February, the Setsubun/Mamemaki event takes place and dozens of people from all over Japan gather to get a good fortune for the year.

Pray for good health, safety and fulfillment while enjoying the traditions of Japan at Tokyo’s Honmonji Temple.

Honmonji Official Website (Japanese Only)


3.Chuson-Ji Temple(中尊寺) in Iwate

Chuson-Ji is one of the most famous temples in Japan and not only is it a World Heritage Site, but it is one of the temples Matsuo Basho, a worldwide known haiku poet, has visited on his travels.

The temple has several events during the year and it is a great choice for experiencing the Setsubun celebrations in Japan and take a glimpse of the history and beauty of the country.

Chusonji Official Website


By - cinnamonellie.