Hanyu, Mascot Setsubun – a setsubun celebration where mascots throw the beans instead of demons or honored guests. Unfortunately, this event has been cancelled.
I love finding events like this setsubun with a twist in Hanyu. In most setsubun bean throwing ceremonies around Japan, either honored guests and / or demons throw the beans to the crowds. But at the Bishamondo on the grounds of Asama Shrine in Hanyu, mascots do! Its a relatively new event; this year will be just the 5th time mascots will participate in the bean throwing ceremony.
Several shrines and temples have cancelled their bean throwing events for 2022, but Hanyu city currently plan to go ahead with the event at Bishamondo. They don’t have information on their website directly, but they had it in their last city public relations magazine. You can get a copy of that online (attached here). However, it will be on a smaller scale than normal with only two confirmed mascots for 2022. Moreover, as the official notification states, there is a chance of last minute cancellation depending on the situation with the coronavirus. Update: they later posted on the Hanyu tourist website that the event has been cancelled.
Setsubun is officially on February 3rd. And most temples and shrines have their setsubun festival on the same day, even if it is a weekday. But at Hanyu’s Bishamondo, they host the festival on a weekend. See the information section below for date and specifics.
Bean throwing mascots
In a regular year between 10 and 15 mascots participate in Hanyu’s bean throwing ceremony. Bean throwing is done for setsubun, an annual event that takes place in temples and shrines around Japan. Setsubun marks the beginning of spring. People throw beans in their own home while chanting demons out, luck in for good fortune in the months ahead. But you can also attend a larger event where beans are thrown from a dias to the crowds below.
Presumably, the reason mascots throw the beans at Asama Shrine is because Hanyu is famous for its annual “Yuruchara Mascot Summit”. At the summit, hundreds of mascots from all over Japan, and even from abroad, gather for a mascot festival. That event takes place at the Hanyu Riverside Park where Saitama’s fresh water aquarium is.
Mascot Setsubun 2022
Date: Saturday February 5th 2022
Time: 10 am to 3 pm
Place: Bishamondo on the grounds of Asama Shrine
Address: 1 Chome-13 Nishi, Hanyu, Saitama 348-0054
Hanyu City’s official website, where they will make an announcement if the event is cancelled. However, please note, often such notifications aren’t very visible. If in doubt, please ring the phone number above to confirm the event is going ahead.
Access: Bishamondo is about a five minute walk from Hanyu Station. Driving to the location is discouraged as there is no parking in the precinct when the event is on. There are a couple of coin parking lots near the station.
They haven’t made a flyer for 2022, here is the last flyer I could find – for 2020: