The Setsubun Mamemaki train is on again in 2024. It was on in 2023 for the first time in three years. It is a relatively new event that had only been running for three years before the pandemic, but it was very popular and a great way to celebrate setsubun. The setsubun mamemaki train is run by Chichibu Railway and it departs for Chichibu from Kumagaya City.
Setsubun is an unique to Japan festival celebrated on February 3rd annually. As part of the festival you throw beans at “oni” Japanese ogres or demons, to scare them away. The bean throwing is called “mamemaki” and is a pivotal element of the setsubun festivities. Japanese “oni” participate in the Setsubun mamemaki train. There is no charge for the event, but of course you have to pay to ride the train.
Setsubun Mamemaki Train
For this event, there are oni (Japanese demons) at three of the Chichibu line train stations en route. If you ride the setsubun mamemaki train they give you “mame” beans to throw at the oni. Then, when the oni appear you can throw beans at the oni on the station’s platform. Accordingly the train usually stops in the participating stations for about nine minutes. If you are going to the end of the line, Chichibu station, mascot oni characters will be waiting to guide passengers to Chichibu Shrine where there are even more festivities.
The mamemaki train itself is one of Chichibu railway special design trains. For the setsubun event they have a special limited edition headmark on the train. You don’t need to register in advance to participate. Reception for the event is at Chichibu Railway Kumagaya station where you will receive the beans and a certificate of participation. They will be selling a special ehomaki, setsubun onigiri, in front of the ticket gates of Kumagaya Station before the departure of the Setsubun Bean Throwing Train.
Setsubun Mamemaki Information 2024
Event: Chichibu Railway Setsubun Mamemaki Train 秩父鉄道節分豆まきトレイン
Date: February 3rd 2024
Time: the train will depart Kumagaya station at 11.35 am and arrive at Chichibu station 1.24 pm.
Cost: the event is free, but you have to purchase a train ticket. A one day railway pass costs 1000 yen for an adult and 500 yen for a child, from Kumagaya Station to Chichibu station.
Location: from Kumagaya Station to Chichibu Station, on the Chichibu Railway Line.
There are several other events being held in Nagatoro and Chichibu at the same time, including other setsubun events. The wintersweet is also in bloom and accessible from the Nagatoro station on the Chichibu railway line. Along the route, Fukaya Hanazono Station is a relatively new station. Check out the illumination on in Fukaya currently.
The featured image at the top of the post is from the Official event page.
Nine other places for Setsubun in Saitama: