There is a lovely little Hina dolls display at Kakyu no Sato in Konosu. What encouraged me to go visit was seeing photos of the mask wearing hina on Instagram! However, it was a pleasant surprise to find several other cute and unique hina dolls. Moreover, I learned about the rose garden at the site while there. The main rose display is in May though, well after the hina dolls have been taken down. Information for both the hina dolls and the annual spring rose festival is included in this post.
Kakyu no Sato
Saitama Prefecture has two cities that are famous for hina dolls. Iwatsuki and Konosu. Within the latter, Konosu, there is an area called “Ningyo Cho” or Dolls town in English. Kakyu no Sato is located within this dolls town. It is a period house with a Nagaya-mon (gate), Omoya building and an annex. I spotted the English name written on a guide map as ‘The House of Flower and Music Kawasato Kakyu no Sato’. But you can also see in the photo above that it is called the Pavilion of Flower and Music! It is so named, because when there isn’t a pandemic on, the facility hosts several music events.
There is a rose garden on the grounds. It also has other seasonal flower displays. Right now rapeseed is in bloom. It is not particularly large, but it is nicely done. There are also a few plum blossoms on the grounds. The main house is home to a tea room and an udon restaurant. This is where the dolls are on display.
According to the website, they have a “Hina Matsuri” Dolls Festival every year. However, this year on account of the Coronavirus it was cancelled. Despite that, they actually have dozens of dolls on display as well as the beautiful colored hanging decorations.
The gardens are free to roam. But I think the dolls displays are for paying customers. You can get a tea or coffee for just 200 yen. The lounge is big an airy and / or there is seating outdoors so it feels “safe” during this time with Covid. For customers of the udon restaurant you can see even more hina dolls on display in the dining area there.
I particularly loved the miniature dolls displayed in the bamboo, especially the ones in the rapeseed flower display. The dolls with masks holding disinfectant spray are class though. I wonder if any other displays showed this initiative this year. Very fitting!
Konosu is famous for its main hina dolls display – the largest dolls pyramid in all of Japan:
The main feature of the gardens at Kakyu no Sato is the roses. There are five small rose gardens as well as other season flowers. Kakyu no Sato host a rose festival every May as part of a larger flower festival in Konosu city. The highlight of which is the poppy festival at Japan’s largest poppy field. In 2022, the rose festival will be on from Saturday May 7th to Sunday May 22nd. You can see other flowers at different times of the year in the garden. For example, rapeseed in February and March. And roses bloom again in Autumn. They also have two small areas dedicated to seasonal flowers on the grounds of this quaint attraction.
|Address:||Sekishinden, Konosu, Saitama 365-0004|
|Hours:||9 am to 5 pm|
|Cost:||Garden free |
Tea / Coffee just 200 yen
Udon from 500 yen
Parking is free and plentiful – about 120 car spaces. The Konosu “flower bus” goes to the garden from the east exit of Konosu Station. Timetable here (the second image on the page is the times from the station). There is also normally a shuttle bus that connects the two different poppy festivals and the rose garden on weekends during the flower festival. But unfortunately there is currently no mention of that service in 2022, instead they are promoting the “flower bus” this year.