Hina Matsuri, also known as ‘Girl’s Day’ or ‘Doll Festival’ is a special celebration held in Japan every year on March 3. It centers around gorgeous hina-ningyo (hina dolls), which are displayed on red carpet platforms in houses and buildings all over Japan, to pray for the healthy growth and prosperity of young girls. Here are 5 great places to see the beautiful Hina Matsuri Dolls.
Hina Matsuri at Kyoto National Museum
You can catch an impressive exhibition of Hina Matsuri dolls at the Kyoto National Museum in Kyoto every year from February. The Museum houses many priceless treasures as well as some amazing artwork from the Golden Age of Kyoto during the Heian Period (794-1192). The exhibition features various historical hina dolls from different eras giving you a chance to see a variety of different styles. The hina dolls are traditionally given to newborn girls in Japan to wish for health and prosperity.
527 Chaya-cho, Higashiyama-ku, Kyoto, Kyoto Prefecture, +81 75-525-2473
Keio Plaza Hotel in Tokyo
The Hina Matsuri exhibition at the Keio Plaza Hotel in Shinjuku, Tokyo runs from February to late March every year. The hotel showcases 6,500 handmade hanging silk dolls which are believed to trap evil spirits and bring good fortune to girls. You can also try some special dishes to celebrate Hina Matsuri at one of the hotel’s nine restaurants. This is a great place to experience all that Hina Matsuri has to offer.
2 Chome 2-1, Nishishinjuku, Tokyo, +81 3-3344-0111
Katsuura Big Hina Matsuri at Tomisaki Shrine, Chiba Prefecture
One of the most interesting and unique displays of Hina Matsuri Dolls is at Tomisaki Shrine in Katsuura, a small fishing village in Chiba Prefecture near Tokyo. Thousands of traditional hina dolls line the steep 60 step stone stairway to the shrine creating a wonderful sight and atmosphere. The event is held from late February to March 3 and should not be missed. You can also see many other hina dolls displayed around Katsuura during the festival.
1 Hamakatsuura, Katsuura, Chiba Prefecture, +81 470-73-0034
Tomo Machinami Hina Matsuri Doll Festival
The Tomo Machinami Hina Matsuri Doll Festival is held every year from mid February to late March in the Tomo area of Fukuyama in Hiroshima Prefecture. The port town manages to maintain the look and feel of the Edo Period (1603-1868) with its historic old houses and streets. You can walk from house to house and admire the beautiful hina dolls that are put on display for visitors by around 100 different households. The hina dolls have been passed down from generation to generation with many displays dating from the Edo Period through to the Meiji Period (1868-1912).
Tomo-cho, Fukuyama, Hiroshima Prefecture, +81 84-982-1121
Konosu Bikkuri Hina Matsuri Doll Festival
A spectacular seven meter (22.9 ft) high pyramid of traditional hina dolls can be seen at the shopping mall in front of JR Konosu Station in Saitama Prefecture near Tokyo. Konosu has earned the nickname “Doll Town” for its history of doll making, dating back more than 380 years. One of Japan’s biggest and best hina displays features 31 platforms of locally made hina dolls. The event is free of charge and will run from 17 February until 12 March in 2017.
1-4-20 Ningyo, Konosu, Saitama Prefecture, +81 48-540-3333