Susuharai, Sweeping Dust Away Ceremony at Higashi Honganji Temple
Higashi-honganji (東本願寺), otherwise affectionately called as Ohigashi-san (お東さん, Mr. Higashi), is the head temple of Otani (大谷) sect of Shinshu (真宗) located near YUMEYAKATA. The sight of many temple buildings that are the world’s largest level architecture is just overwhelming.
In the temple, the famous winter event in Kyoto called Susuharai (煤払い, sweeping soot away) is conducted on every December 20. Surprisingly, the event has been continued for five hundred years.
In the cold crisp air of winter morning, a large number of parishioners and believers of the sect from all over the nation get together at the main hall. As Susubarai commenced at 9:00 o’clock, they take bamboo slats in their hands to stroke Tatami (畳) mats so as to whirl up the hidden dust, and then dust is blown off to the outside by gigantic fans flapped by the believers. After that, Tatami mats at the whole place are cleanly wiped.
Upon the completion of Susubarai, the main hall is perfectly adorned for the New Year’s Ceremony.
Kyoto Expert Certification 1st Grade
1 min. on foot from Karasuma-Shichijo, Kyoto City bus
7 mins. on foot from JR Kyoto station
5 mins. on foot from Gojo station, subway