cherry blossom forecast: (Japanese version only) version only) (Japanese version only)  

when and where to see cherry blossoms (Japanese version only):

1-30 April Miyako Odori(Cherry Dance), Kyoto
Maiko and geiko dance performances
Advance tickets are available from overseas at:
The performances wil be done at Kyoto Art Theater “Shunjuza”( again this year.

seasonal flowers:

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Doll's Festival(1)

March 3rd is the Japanese Doll's Festival or Girls' Festival called Hina Matsuri(雛祭り).

雛人形 by dancingnomad3 /flickr

人吉球磨ひなまつり by alberth2 /flickr

the Doll's Festival in Hitoyoshi-kuma(人吉球磨) area in Kumamoto Prefecture
Families with girls started to display hina dolls at home. This custom started in the Edo Period. Recently, many Dolls' Festivals are held in various areas. Their towns are decoratied with their own distinctive hina dolls and ornaments.
On the top shelf are emperor and empress.
On the second shelf are three court ladies. 
On the third shelf are five musicians.
On the fouth shelf are two ministers called sa-daijin(左大臣:Minister of the Left) and u-daijin(右大臣:Minister of the Right) and diamond-shaped rice cakes. The elderly man is sa-daijin.
On the fifth shelf are three servants holding shoes, a shrouded parasol and hat(in Kyoto, holding cleaning things) and mandarin orange tree and cherry tree.
On the sixth shelf are furniture and household goods including tansu(箪笥, chest),Hasami-bako(鋏箱) on nagamochi(長持,a large oblong chest),kyodai(鏡台,dressing table),hari-bako(針箱, needlework box),hibachi(火鉢,charcoal brazier),daisu(台子, a display stand for tea ceremony utensils).
On the seventh shelf are kago(駕籠,palanquin),ju-bako(重箱,tiered food boxes),Gosyo-guruma(御所車, court carriage).





P3018170.JPG by Goran Zec /flickr

modern empress doll

P3018169.JPG by Goran Zec /flickr

modern emperor doll

servant holding  a shrouded parasol

Photo by

emperor and empress, three court ladies, two ministers

My hina dolls were the same as this set of hina dolls in a glass case.

Hina-Ningyō (Hina Dolls)
Hina-Ningyō (Hina Dolls) by Hyougushi /flickr
chirashizushi(sushi rice in a box or bowl with a variety of ingredients sprinkled on top) and a salt-based soup containing unshelled clams are standard dishes for the Doll's Festival.

hinamatsuri dishes-f04.jpg by midorisyu /flickr

hinamatsuri dishes-f02.jpg by midorisyu /flickr

the Girl's Festival by rok1966 /flickr

cake for the Doll Festival


Hina dolls are being displayed at the City Konosu City Hall in Saitama Prefecture.
鴻巣市役所のおひな様 by onohiroki /flickr

鴻巣市役所のおひな様 by onohiroki /flickr


  1. Hello Ichinen, thank you soooo much for these pictures!!! The hina dolls are gorgeous! Oh, what would I like to see everything with my own eyes!! I think that I should need hours and hours to see everything. It is so beautiful, especially those amazing dolls. Also the food, I would like to taste it.
    Thank you for sharing and I hope you have a great weekend,Ilona

    1. Most of families with girls have their own hina dolls in Japan although the dolls vary in size and price. I hope this custom become popular even in other countries.