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 Product 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 now also has the Iwatsuki Ningyo Museum, which is now the principal dolls museum in Iwatsuki city. You used to be able to watch dolls being made in Togyoku Doll Museum. Unfortunately that service is currently unavailable.
The Iwatsuki Dolls Festival in 2022
Date: from Saturday February 19th to Sunday March 6th 2022. Like all events during a pandemic, this is subject to change depending on the situation with the Coronavirus. At the time of writing this post, on the night of January 11th, the event is still scheduled to go ahead.
Between February 19th and March 6th approximately 70 stores and facilities around the area of Iwatsuki station East exit have Hina Dolls on display. There are also hanging decorations in select locations, including the Quiz Shrine, Suzuki Brewery and Hotei House. 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 Quiz Shrine will be selling an original limited edition prayer plaque.
The opening ceremony is scheduled for Saturday February 19th from 1 pm. It is on around the Crescent mall near the east exit of Iwatsuki Station. Unfortunately, in 2022 on account of the Coronavirus there will be no Ohina-sama parade, which is normally the highlight of the opening ceremony. However, there will be traditional music such as taiko drum performances. There will also be dance including traditional Yosakoi dance.
On public holiday February 23rd they plan to hold a Hina Dolls market at the Crescent mall at the east exit of Iwatsuki station. 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.
The main Hina Festival is on Sunday February 27th from 1 pm. Unfortunately, just like the opening event, the main attraction of the Hina Festival – the Ohina sama parade – is not on due to the pandemic. However, they plan to have live dance and music.
The popular floating dolls event is also scheduled for February 27th. That is on in Iwatsuki Castle Park.
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.