A Setsubun lantern procession in Asakusa

The traditional Setsubun ceremony is performed at countless temples across Japan on February 3rd — an event that involves throwing beans to dispel devils and bring good fortune. At Asakusa’s famous Sensoji Temple, however, the main event is also preceded by a lantern-bearing procession. A custom that may not bring luck or banish evil, but it does make for quite a spectacle.



  1. Willy says

    I remember the bean throwing as being quite painful.. soy beans dried rock hard and thrown with force then hitting the skull did not an entirely pleasant experience make…

    • says

      That was the first time I’ve ever experienced it. Didn’t get hit fortunately, but I did catch a small bag of beans, so it’s good luck for me this year. Or at least it’s supposed to be!

    • says


      It was fortunate. Saw them moving towards the temple and just had enough time to get up the steps for a good vantage point. Fascinating to both watch and photograph.

    • says

      Thanks, Norbert!

      Interesting sight, isn’t it? I saw them moving towards the temple, so I made a mad dash and got there just in time!

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