Usokae: bullfinch exchange in which hundreds of people take part in the ritual of exchanging their own bullfinches made of wood for receiving lucky ones from hand to hand in the dark.
Onisube: ritual in which about 300 people play roles of oni (devils) and keigo (those who fight against devils) to drive away evil spirits and bring happiness and good fortune for the year.
It is said that the owners of these lucky bullfinches enjoy good luck for the year.
Schedule & key events:
from 6 p.m.: Usokae
from 9 p.m.: Onisube and bonfire
Location: Dazaifu Tenman-gu Shrine, Dazaifu, Fukuoka
JR Sanyo Shinkansen Line to Hakata Sta. From there, take Nishitetsu bus to Dazaifu-eki Bus Stop (45min.), and then walk 5 min.
Festival information compiled in cooperation with the Tourist Information Center of the Japan National Tourist Organization. (Shin-Tokyo Bldg. 1F, 3-3-1 Marunouchi, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo; (03) 3201-3331). Open 9 a.m.-5 p.m. daily.