きょうの
ちしん

KYOTO COLUMN

BLOGDiary2019.02.01

When it comes to the Setsubun event in Kyoto, "Yoshida Shrine" is a must

In the past, when Kyoto was the capital of Japan, it was known with the name of Heian-Kyo.

The streets of this old city were structured as a checkerboard (they still are today).

Heian-kyo was built with precision in its measurements and it was in this period that the symbol of the "Demon Gate" was introduced.

The "Demon Gate" is the gate where demons enter and exit our world and is always located in the north-east corner of a structure.

From that time, the superstition said that the North-East direction was unlucky, and then called it a Demonic area.

Still today, to avoid misfortunes, Setsubun is held every year on February 2nd and 3rd, an event aimed to "pay" off the bad spirits.

First, there is the visit of the four temples that are connected to the North-East direction of every corner of the Imperial Palace.

This is called "Yomomairi": first "Yoshida Shrine" and its Demon gate are visited.

Then "Yasaka Shrine", "Mibudera" and its Urakimon (direction south west) and finally "Kitano Tenmangu".

Among them, Setsubun Festival at "Yoshida Shrine" is the largest!

At the follow-up ceremony on the evening of the 2nd, we can see a unique sight where the God called "Hososhi" chases off the red demons, the blue demons and the yellow demons.


Yoshida Shrine

Kyoto City, Sakyo Ward, Yoshida Kaguraoka-machi 30

10 minutes on foot from Kyodai Seimon-mae (in front gate of Kyoto University main entrance)