Setsubun marks the last day until spring. At the Kasuga Taisha Shrine in Nara, more than 3,000 lanterns in the precincts are lit up. This tradition has been ongoing for about 800 years, donated by citizens and most from samurai warriors in the Warring States Period.
It almost takes you back to the times before electricity was invented. There are stone lanterns in the gardens and hanging lanterns in the corridors of the shrine, garden lanterns are decorated with strips of Japanese paper of people’s wishes. February 3rd is the official transition from winter to spring; during this time, beans, good luck charms and votive picture of a horse are items that are popular, as they signify a long life.
Find out more about Kasuga Taisha.