Yasaka Shrine is an ancient shrine in the popular tourist area of Gion. Every year in February the shrine is bustling with visitors come to see maiko – apprentice geisha, dance and throw beans. The festival runs from February 2nd to 3rd, and during the festival you can see maiko from four geisha districts of Kyoto. There is a lot to the Setsubun festival at Yasaka Shrine: you can buy lucky beans that come with a lottery ticket, get a paper amulet on a stick that keeps the evil at bay for a year, and eat zenzai red bean soup that wards off evil. Every year there are Setsubun festivals with demon exorcism and bean throwing at most of Kyoto’s shrines, but the most “Kyoto-like” festival has to be the Yasaka Shrine Setsubun Festival. The graceful dance and bean throwing by the maiko is certainly worth a visit!