SETSUBUN YAKUYOKE Ceremony at Mibu-Dera Temple

Mibu-Dera temple is one of the two places famous for Setsubun (節分 - February 3, a day before the beginning of spring in Japan) ceremonies along with Yoshida shrine. For me as a fan of the final days of Tokugawa Shogunate, the temple's deep history with Shinsengumi (新撰組 - a special police force organized by the Tokugawa shogunate) is also very interesting. Yakuyoke (厄除け -warding off calamity and misfortune) ceremony at Mibu-Dera temple has a history of nine hundred years and its efficacy has been long believed among Kyoto residents. The ceremony is conducted annually on the day of Setsubun, the day before Risshun (立春 - the New Year's day), all according to Japanese luna-solar calendar, in order to usher in a happy New Year by driving evils and misfortunes away.

On February 2, practitioners of Yamabushi (山伏 - Japanese mountain ascetic hermits) costumes conduct a large-scale Goma (Holy Fire) Mass. Despite the cold weather, the premises will be crowded with many visitors.

After attending the Yakuyoke ceremony, you will feel new again! Mamemaki (豆まき - bean throwing) at the temple is also fun!

Akane Kibune

Mibu-Dera temple URL:


February 2-4


3 mins. on foot from Mibuderamichi, Kyoto city bus 


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