Stores are preparing for Setsubun, which is on February 3.
The tossing of beans is said to keep away evil spirits.
The day marks the day before the traditional start of spring on the old calendar. Of course, spring actually begins on the vernal equinox near the end of March, but somehow, maybe psychologically, it feels like the onset of spring is coming.
Today is quite cold. But after Setsubun you start to feel it’s almost spring, and you start seeing Sakura buds appearing, and winter begins to fade away.