Out with the Bad...In with the Good

Every Feb. 3 at Yoshida Shrine marks the Kick-off for Setsubun (banishing the ills of last year and welcoming the good feelings for next) and last night they did it up right!


The Festive crowds were all over the Mountain spending (lottery tickets, ceremonial beans, Oni Masks, etc.), drinking (Hot sake and beer), chowing down (delish hot eats anywhere you cared to look) and smiling (no charge for those).

Successfully negotiating the twists and turns of the Fest was a strictly sink-or-swim affair but I got the big impression that most folks stroked along most happily, easily and gratefully even if elbow room was a very rare commodity so excuse the shaky camerawork but I was riding herd.
Team Kyoto, for example, arrived with a posse of 10 but we were quickly separated by the tidal force of the flow and so we all drifted then docked when and where we could occasionally and/or luckily bumping into the members of our blissfully scattered expedition.

One epicurean highlight- Tsuboyaki!
P1010239.JPGA grilled to perfection giant clam roasting in its own juices. Throw in some hot Nihonshu (sake to you) or a cold beer next to the heater and you got a slice of Setsubun Heaven!


Later they lit the huge bonfire, a spectacular finale to the evening, to ward away all the Evil Spirits of '09 but by that time Team Kyoto was comfortably regrouping back at HQ.

Hey, cut me some slack.....at least we didn't lose any strays!
posted by Billy at 18:03 | Kyoto (Japan)