Experience Japanese culture firsthand in a family-style environment in Shitamachi, the old area of Tokyo. Why not join us next February for Setsubun ?
As soon as the sun sets on February 3, Sawanoya Ryokan celebrates Setsubun
or Bean-Throwing Day. We fill wooden cups full of dried soybeans and stand
in the front and back entrances. Then, we throw the beans outside and inside
our ryokan while shouting: "Devils go out (oni wa soto)! Good luck
come in (fuku wa uchi)!"
We let our guests munch on the remaining beans but only give them the number matching their age. Those who eat these beans will have good health throughout the year.
Setsubun is also celebrated at a nearby shrine called Nezu Jinja. On February 3rd bean-throwing activities are organized in the shrine compound during both the morning and the afternoon. Celebrities and sumo wrestlers born in that particular year of the Japanese zodiac are invited to throw beans. Beans and other prizes are scattered throughout the large crowds gathered there, and we all scream with excitement as we try to catch them.
Our guests participated in this event last year and came home with beans and many other goodies.
Setsubun is a traditional event just before the arrival of spring, and for us it is always an enjoyable day. Come and stay at our ryokan and enjoy it with us!
Our guest from Singapore, Ms. Helen Su, sent the following letter about the setsubun she spent with us.
Dear Sawa-san and Arata-san,
Thank you for making my stay in your ryokan such a memorable one! Though the language was our barrier and our encounter was brief, I could feel the warm hospitality extended to me and the dream of staying in a typical Japanese house has enabled me to enrich my knowledge and experience the Japanese culture. Your family has been very helpful, kind and considerate in making my movement in Tokyo very easy.
I enjoyed the setsubun (bean-throwing) at your house, taught by Arata-san in saying "fuku wa uchi, oni wa soto" (see photos).
Your look out for the 8:15 monks' procession in your street was very helpful. If I missed that night's walk by the monks, I would not have a chance to take a photo of them and show it to my mother.
I enjoyed the stay very much; staying in a ryokan is what I always wanted to do. I felt very enriched in the Japanese culture after spending 3 days in Ueno and Asakusa. If I have the chance, I would like to come to Japan again and I hope you will reserve room no. 35 for me again.
Thank you very much!!!