I've read last year while making an article about Shimokitazawa that it is famous for their celebration of Setsubun or bean throwing day. Traditionally, beans are scattered as away of expelling badluck while people shout "oni wa soto" which means demons, go away. But at Shimokitazawa Tengu Festival, they scatter beans while saying "fuku wa uchi" (which means good luck or bring us the fortune) three times. They also believe that you should never say "demons, go away" because for them, evil naturally dissipates in an atmosphere that is full of happiness. Furthermore, Tengu (a form of spirit or demon) is believed to realize people's wishes relating to things like family safety, prosperity in business, luck and success in exams. I'm glad I get to experience this with Kathryn today. I've learned so much from this tradition so I hope you do too.
Tengu are supernatural creatures that appear in Japanese folklore. They are seen as protective guardian spirits to be respected, if not somewhat feared. An annual Shimokitazawa Tengu Festival is held every winter at Shinryuji temple, a five minute walk from Shimokitazawa station. At the same time Setsubun is celebrated in Japan. Setsubun day marks the beginning of each season. Japanese people generally celebrates Setsubun in the winter as it marks the coming of spring and new life.