Hokekyo Temple Setsubun Festival – Traditional Annual Celebration in Chiba




The beginning of February is considered to be a beginning of spring in Japan, and just the day before it starts, on the 3rd of February, we celebrate the division of seasons with an event called Setsubun (節分). Hokekyo Temple Setsubun Festival is one of many Setsubin festivals in Japan that takes place on the same day every year. In February many temples and shrines welcome spring with local people, and I will introduce the Hokekyo Temple Setsubun Festival where you can celebrate like a local!


About Hokekyo Temple

The Hokekyo Temple (法華経寺), is a temple in Nakayama, Chiba prefecture. It was built in the Kamakura period, which is over 750 years ago, and it enshrines the Kishibo god (鬼子母神), which is known to bring you good luck in health, work, and a blessed birth.
In the precincts of the temple, you will find many traditional sites that are designated as the important cultural property of Japan other than the temple itself. So, if you want to feel the traditional Japanese culture, this is a must-see place for sure.

The Setsubun Festival

Each year on the 3rd of February, the beginning of spring is celebrated at an event called Setsubun (節分). At this event, we throw beans and call out “Oniwa Soto!”, “Fukuwa Uchi!”, which means “Evil, go away! Happiness, come in!” The term “Oni (鬼)” means Japanese devil, so driving him out means driving bad luck away. In families, it is also a tradition for dads to dress up like an Oni and let the kids throw the beans at them to drive the Oni away!

Things to Do at the Festival

The event at Hokekyo Temple is very popular, and approximately 15,000 people come to enjoy the celebration every year. It’s a fun event you should celebrate with locals. Each year the Hokekyo Temple invites a famous person (it can be an actor/actress, musician, an athlete, etc.) to heat up the event! At the event, Japanese snacks and candies are also thrown other than beans, so it is enjoyable for children as well!

Details and Access

Date: February 3rd every year

Brief schedule: The bean-throwing ceremony takes place twice. One from 13:00 and one from 15:00. It gets really crowded, so I recommend coming early.

Place: Hokekyō Temple

Address: 2-10-1 Nakayama, Ichikawa, Chiba Prefecture 

Official website (Japanese only):

The nearest station is either Shimousanakayama station on JR Sobu Line or Nakayama station on Keisei Line.
The Temple has parking lots but it gets full fast, so be sure to come early.

Closing Remarks

Setsubun is an event that we Japanese have been celebrating traditionally every year, and its an extremely enjoyable one! The Hokekyo Temple is a traditional temple that has been built hundreds of years ago, so it is also a recommended place to visit if you want to feel the Japanese culture. Why not celebrate the beginning of spring at this event with your friends and get ready for the upcoming cherry blossoms?

If you would like to take part in this exciting festival and explore Chiba prefecture together with a friendly local guide, please check the banner below!

Discover Chiba Prefecture!

Chiba Prefecture is a great place to visit and can boast plenty of tourist attractions. Besides, it is very close to Tokyo, and you can easily visit it within a day. However, would you like to see rural Japan? Chiba Prefecture gives you a unique opportunity to visit a land of hot springs and admire authentic traditional Japan. The following article assembled the best festivals and activities to enjoy in Chiba Prefecture, which will make your trip to Japan even more rewarding!


An Ultimate Idea Source for Your Tokyo Stay!

Most of the travelers who come to Japan enter the country through Tokyo. Even if it is not the main place of your destination, it would be a great idea to stay in the capital city for a few days. The biggest conglomerate in the world has much to offer to any kind of traveler. Whether you want to go sightseeing, shopping, eating out, or trying something special that you can experience only in Japan, Tokyo has it all. In the following article, you will find 100 things and many ideas on how to spend your time in Tokyo! Please, have a look!


Would You Like to Know How to Enjoy a Japanese Festival Even More?

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Did You Know That There is a Festival Every Day Somewhere in Japan?

Japan is a country of festivals indeed. Matsuri is an essential part of traditional Japanese culture. Thus, every day somewhere in Japan a festival takes place. There are traditional and modern festivals, on the sea and on the ground, in summer and winter. Japanese are hardworking people. However, when you attend at least one festival in Japan, you will understand how locals like to party. The article under the link below will introduce you to a celebration on any day of the year. I am sure you will find an event that suits your interests utmost!


Don`t Stay Hungry at the Festival!

Image courtesy of Tomomarusan

For all foodies who enjoy Japanese Festivals would be nice to get acquainted with the rich choice offered by Yatai (Japanese festival food stalls). The food presented during Matsuri is pretty different from the one you get at the restaurants in Japan. Besides, there is a certain charm in grabbing some snack from a food stall and diving back into the festival crowd. I am sure that you will discover something new about Japanese festival food from the following article!


Ryusei Yuasa

Hi I’m Ryusei. I’m a university student, and love to play sports, listening to music, and communicating with people.

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