Information for the Tokorozawa Dolls Festival, officially known as Tokorozawa Hina Monogatari 野老澤雛物語, in 2023
The Tokorozawa Doll’s Festival
Tokorozawa celebrates its doll production history with this “monogatari” festival. They describe Monogatari as a narrative tale. They are believed to have developed from the oral storytelling of fiction. That is, even when a story is based on true historical events, they are fictionalized. They remind me of the stories of seanchai in (my own) Irish culture.
As far as I can tell the Monogatari used in relation to the Tokorozawa dolls’ festival relates to a story told by images, or particularly the dolls. During the event they display historic hina dolls, some of which were made in Tokorozawa. Doll making “Tokorozawa Ningyo” started in 1849 in Tokorozawa.
During the period of the Hina Dolls festival, if a shop in the Tokorozawa Machi Zukuri Shouten area has the image in the photo above displayed in their window, they have hina dolls on display in the shop. In addition to displaying dolls, some of the shops and restaurants will have special offerings during the display period.
The Hina dolls are on display in some shops and restaurants, around the area in the map below, during the period of the festival. By and large, this festival starts on February 11th – a public holiday in Japan – regardless of what day of the week it is and ends on the second Sunday of March. In 2023, that will be from Saturday February 11th to Sunday March 12th. The displays are open to the public between 10 am and 6 pm from Fridays to Wednesdays, closed on Thursdays.
There are normally crafting events on during the period. However, due to the pandemic they may still be limited in 2023, as they were the last two years. But this year, they have a poster, which they didn’t last year. Plus, they have added information to the official website, which they didn’t do in 2023, they just had basic information on Tokorozawa City website. So it looks like it will be more like a ‘normal’ year, than last year (2022). Moreover, they will have a kimono market on the last day, the 12th:
They will sell period kimonos from 10 am to 4 pm at various sites around Tokorozawa, such as Waltz Shopping Center and the National registered tangible cultural property “Akita Residence”.
The area where the dolls are displayed, mapped below, is about a 12 minute walk from both Tokorozawa and Nishi-Tokorozawa Stations.
In Saitama since 2008, updated annually. Last republish on January 25th 2022. Last update January 30th 2023.