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10 Spring Hinamatsuri Festivals in Japan

In the mood to celebrate early spring in Japan? Check out these beautiful Girls Day festivals across the country!

By 5 min read

Now that the weather is warmer, it’s time to welcome a new season and celebrate one of Japan’s many early spring Hinamatsuri festivals in Japan. One of the country’s most charming and underrated festivals is just around the corner on March 3.

Hinamatsuri, or Girls Day, began in its current form in the Edo period to celebrate young girls’ health and happiness. Its hina dolls and chirashi zushi (a rice dish served for festivities) are great ways to welcome the upcoming season.

Experience the traditions of this holiday in their grandest form, in big displays and festivals across the country. Visit the sites below for ten spring Hinamatsuri festivals in Japan!

1. Minatocho Sakata Kasafuku (Yamagata)

Photo:
The dolls that give Hinamatsuri its name.

Beginning in late February and running through November, Yamagata Prefecture’s kasa fuku (umbrella-shaped hanging ornaments) are considered one of Japan’s top three traditional tsurushi kazari (hanging decorations). Since the Edo Period, Sakata City has been popular for the small and intricate decorations in symbolic motifs hung from umbrellas. Each decoration is bestowed with a wish for children and families, mostly to do with good health and happiness. Visit the Sanno Club to see the exhibit.

2-2-25, Hiyoshi-cho, Sakata City, Yamagata  - Map
Dates: Feb. 28 – Nov. 4, 2024
Admission: ¥800, Students: ¥200–¥120
Nearest station: JR Sakata

2. Katsuura Big Hina Matsuri (Chiba)

Photo:
The “Big Hina Matsuri” is one of the largest events of its kind.

Located in the quaint port town of Katsuura, the “Big Hina Matsuri” is one of the largest events of its kind in Japan. The Katsuura festival features three main venues located throughout the city. The most popular location is the red-clothed steps leading up to Tomisaki Shrine, where approximately 1,800 spectacular dolls are displayed on the 60-stone steps.

The other two locations in the city are at Kakuoji Temple, where 600 dolls are exhibited, and at the Tona Crossing near Katsuura station, which showcases about 1,000 dolls. Make this decorated city a site of your early spring travels.

1 Hama-katsuura, Katsuura City, Chiba - Map
Dates: Feb. 23 – Mar. 3, 2024
Nearest station: JR Katsuura

3. One Hundred Steps Staircase Hinamatsuri (Ibaraki)

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Over 1,000 Hina Matsuri dolls are loaned or donated by locals and are displayed on bright red cloth.

This gorgeous Ibaraki Prefecture Hinamatsuri Festival is held on the omotesando (front approach) to Junisho Shrine in Daigo Town, a shrine over 1,000 years old. The hyakudan kaidan (one hundred steps) has over 1,000 Hinamatsuri dolls loaned or donated by locals displayed on bright red cloth, with peach blossoms lining the road to the shrine.

If you also wander the town, you will see that many vendors have set up their own dolls in their store windows, making for both a festive and retro town scene.

Hyakudan Staircase, Ogo, Ogo-machi, Kuji-gun, Ibaraki - Map
Dates: Feb. 15 – Mar. 3, 2024
Nearest station: JR Hitachi-Ohko

4. Makabe no Hinamatsuri (Ibaraki)

Photo:
Residents decorate their homes with Hina Matsuri dolls and open their doors to the public.

To tourists during early spring, the residents of Sakuragawa City decided to create the “Makabe Hina Matsuri.” Since it began in 2003, participation in the festival has blossomed, and now more than 100 residents decorate their homes with Hinamatsuri dolls and open their doors to the public.

Anyone can participate in the festival by decorating their home and inviting visitors. Many participating residents also offer light refreshments, such as tea or amazake (sweet sake) and snacks to guests. Come and enjoy the festivities and unique hospitality.

1 Higashisakuragawa, Sakuragawa, Ibaraki - Map
Dates: Feb. 4 – Mar. 3, 2024 (the roads are closed on weekends during the event)
Nearest station: From Iwase station, take a bus bound for Makabe station

5. Konosu Bikkuri Hinamatsuri (Saitama)

Photo:
The pyramid consists of 31 tiers that will display 1,500 hina dolls.

Konosu, also called the “hometown of hina dolls,” is well-known for its 400-year-long history of doll-making. 2024 also marks the 20th anniversary of its “Konosu Bikkuri Hina Matsuri” and will feature one of Japan’s largest pyramid displays of hina dolls.

The pyramid, consisting of 31 tiers and measuring 7 meters in height, will display about 1,500 hina dolls in the center of a shopping mall. Five other satellite locations within Konosu City showcase smaller or differently-shaped pyramid displays that coincide with the main event. Fans of Japanese dolls are sure to love them displayed in these unusual pyramids.

Elumi Konosu Shopping Mall 1-1-2, Honmachi 1, Konosu-shi, Saitama - Map
Dates: Feb. 16 – Mar. 9, 2024
Nearest station: JR Konosu

6. Hyakudan Hinamatsuri (Tokyo)

Photo:
Enter the “Hina Palace.”

Hotel Gajoen Tokyo hosts the “Hyakudan Hinamatsuri.” It’s an event that showcases hina dolls from all over Japan. This festival makes visitors feel like they have entered a “Hina Palace.” Additionally, the exhibition held in each room of the hotel is connected by the historic wooden “Hyakudan Staircase,” a Tangible Cultural Property designated by the Tokyo Metropolitan Government.

Expect to see a superb collection of dolls exhibited, including Zashikibina dolls from Iizuka, Fukuoka Prefecture. which elegantly portray the Heian period (794–1192) and dolls produced by contemporary artists.

Hotel Gajoen Tokyo, 1-8-1 Shimomeguro, Meguro, Tokyo - Map
Dates: Jan. 20 – Mar. 10, 2024 
Admission: ¥1,600, Students: ¥1,000–¥800
Nearest station: Meguro

7. Setoyashiki Hinamatsuri (Kanagawa)

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The residence puts on a special display for Hina Matsuri.

This Hina Matsuri celebration occurs in a residence nearly as old as the holiday’s traditions itself! The Ashigari-go Setoyashiki is a 300-year-old home belonging to the Seto family, who once held considerable power there. While you can check out the home’s historical elements throughout the year, the residence puts on a special display for Hina Matsuri. Highlights include the two-and-a-half-meter-high pyramid and over 8,000 handmade dolls.

1336 Kanaishima, Kaisei, Ashigarakami District, Kanagawa  - Map
Dates: Feb. 17–Mar. 3, 2024
Admission: ¥500 
Nearest station: Kaisei

8. Hina no Tsurushi Kazari (Shizuoka)

Photo:
Inatori is popular for its tradition of hanging ornaments for Girls Day.

In addition to hot springs, Shizuoka Prefecture’s Inatori Onsen Town is also famous for its annual Hina Matsuri. Alongside Yanagawa (Fukuoka) and Sakata (Yamagata), Inatori is popular for its tradition of hanging ornaments for Girls Day. Family members often handcraft the fabric decorations into various shapes to pray for young girls’ health.

At Inatori Culture Park, you’ll see a multi-tiered red pyramid displaying hina dolls with Inatori’s colorful cascading decor. Surround yourself with their unique lucky charms, like turtles for longevity and spicy peppers to keep bugs away!

1729 Inatori, Higashiizu, Kamo District, Shizuoka - Map
Dates: Jan. 20–Mar. 31, 2024
Admission: General: ¥500
Nearest station: Izu Inatori

9. Seto no Ohina Meguri (Aichi)

Photo:
Ornamental dolls represent the emperor, empress, attendants and musicians.

Aichi Prefecture’s Seto City has a long history of pottery and glassworks. The city puts out thousands of dolls for Hinamatsuri and saves its most impressive display for the Seto-Gura Museum. The 11-step, 4-meter pyramid houses over 800 dolls made of glass, clay and ceramic. With two of Japan’s six ancient kilns, the pottery tradition runs deep in Seto. If you’re lucky enough, you may be able to snag a workshop on how to make your own hina doll.

1-1 Kurashocho, Seto, Aichi  - Map
Dates: Jan. 27 – Mar. 3, 2024
Museum Admission: ¥310–¥520
Nearest station: Owari-Seto

10. Yanagawa Hina Doll Water Parade (Fukuoka)

Photo:
See different boats with Hina dolls float down the river.

The city of Yanagawa in Fukuoka Prefecture offers a different spin on the typical hina doll decor. Sagemon is a type of hanging ornament. It has seven rows of dolls and two large balls in the center. The Hina Doll Water Parade has men and women in traditional dress float on boats decorated with sagemon.

Hinamatsuri decorations will be on display in the city until April 3. Make a special trip to this one-of-a-kind local early spring celebration!

87-1 Honmachi, Yanagawa, Fukuoka - Map
Dates: Mar. 17 or Mar. 20, 2024 (in the case of bad weather)
Nearest station: Nishitetsu Yanagawa
How will you celebrate Hinamatsuri? Do you know of any other spring festivals in Japan? Let us know your plans in the comments below!

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