Iwatsuki dolls festival

Iwatsuki Dolls Festival – Iwatsuki is a very famous “Hina”, traditional Japanese doll, town often referred to as the “city of dolls”. Iwatsuki have been making dolls since the 17th century. Moreover, Iwatsuki Doll making was awarded the prestigious Traditional Craft Production designation by both the prefecture and the country.

Until 2020 the city has two doll museums; Togyoku Doll Museum and Tokyu Doll Museum. But since 2020 the city also has the Iwatsuki Ningyo Museum, which is now the principal dolls museum in Iwatsuki city. You can actually watch dolls being made in the Togyoku Doll Museum. They have a full English website with details here.

The Iwatsuki Dolls Festival in 2024

The doll festival is held annually from around late February to early March. In 2024 it is on from the Emperor’s birthday, February 23rd, to Sunday March 10th. During that period there are lots of special events planned. Moreover, you can view dolls in approximately 70 participating facilities around Iwatsuki. Most of which are concentrated around the East exit of Iwatsuki Station.

In addition, there are several special exhibitions. For example, hanging decorations in select locations. Moreover, there are two very special displays on select dates only, at Atago Shrine and the Iwatsuki Campus of the University of Human Arts and Sciences. Throughout the period of the dolls festival they have several events including stamp rallies and you can also take a tour of the various doll attractions with a guide. Also, during the period of the festival the Hisaizu “the Quiz” Shrine usually have an original limited edition prayer plaque on sale. There is usually a dress up event too, when children can dress up as hina dolls!

A round up of some of the larger events

Opening ceremony & Hina festival

The opening ceremony is scheduled for public holiday February 23rd. They will also have the main Hina Festival on the same day, which includes a stunning Ohina-sama parade. In addition, there is traditional music such as taiko drum performances. There will also be dance including traditional Yosakoi dance. It is on around the Crescent mall near the east exit of Iwatsuki Station.

Staircase displays

Atago Shrine will have their outdoor stair Hina exhibition, weather permitting, from February 23rd to 25th and again from March 1st to 3rd. More information in English for the Atago Shrine event. On Saturday February 24th and Sunday the 25th the Iwatsuki Campus of the University of Human Arts and Sciences also have a hina exhibition on an outdoor staircase.

Floating Dolls

One of the highlights of the festival is the beautiful floating dolls event. In 2024 it is on Sunday March 3rd:

Hina-shi / Tamagochi Festival

On the Sunday closest to the Dolls festival they have a Hina Dolls market at the Crescent mall at the east exit of Iwatsuki station. This year it will be on Dolls day itself, March 3rd 2024. It is on from 10 am. Apart from Hina Dolls, they all sell items related to the dolls festival. Also, there will be a selection of Iwatsuki city produce on sale. Moreover, this year they will have a live performance by singer-songwriter Moeto.

Crafts

You can try your hand at various crafts during the period of the festival. For example, on Saturday February 24th you can paint your own dolls for just 500 yen. At the market on the third they will have workshops for making hanging decoration straps. On the 2nd they have a brooch making workshop. There is also an opportunity to make dolls on February 25th. That event is the most expensive at 2200 yen.

Information

Event: Iwatsuki Dolls Festival or officially Dolls Tour of the Dolls Town Iwatsuki 人形のまち岩槻 まちかど雛めぐり

Date: from Public Holiday Friday February 23rd to Sunday March 10th 2024

Time: varies greatly by day / activity, by and large – office hours

Cost: free to view dolls in most (but not all) locations. There is no admission fee to the opening ceremony, the Hina Festival or the Hinashi market. Workshops and floating dolls incur costs.

Venue: The Iwatsuki Dolls Festival is in the general area of the east exit of the Iwatsuki station (Tobu Urban Park Line). Map at the bottom of the post.

Access

The Iwatsuki Dolls Festival is in the general area of the east exit of the Iwatsuki station (Tobu Urban Park Line). It is easiest to come by public transport. There is some coin parking lots in the area if you come by car.

Official website

Republish ①20220112

2 Comments

    1. Author

      I went to see the hina dolls on the staircase of Atago Shrine – it was pretty impressive!

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