I first visited a Japanese doll shop one night near Koshigaya station. I had stumbled across a festival and I was checking out street food and observing the festivities.
I went around the shop admiring the cuteness, traditional attires and sophistication of Japanese dolls. I would have taken one home with me were it not for the prices. Most of the dolls I saw were going between ¥ 20000 and ¥40000 (around $170 to $350).
Ever since then, I always stop and admire Japanese dolls whenever I see them. However, I have come to peace with the fact that I will not spend that much money on dolls. I would rather use the money on a nice vacation.
Hina Matsuri is a doll festival on the 3rd of March in Japan, also known as Doll’s day or Girl’s day. The festival celebrates girl children and is dedicated to praying for the growth and happiness of girl children.
The most fascinating tradition on the day is the display of ornamental dolls (known as hina ningyo/ hina dolls) of the Heian Period imperial court on red-carpeted platforms. The display begins with the dolls of the emperor and empress at the top followed by various attendants, musicians and samurai in the lower platforms.
When I heard about a doll festival an hour away from me, I knew I had to visit. I could not miss the opportunity to see the tallest doll tower in Japan at 7 meters and 31 platforms.
Most of the shops celebrated the day by putting displays of hina dolls in front of their stores.
Konosu doll festival
Up and close
Once one gets close to the dolls, the attention to detail cannot be ignored. Maybe that is why they are so expensive.
Koshigaya doll festival
My new residence of Koshigaya also celebrated Hina Matsuri at a mall near Koshigaya station.