Hanging Hina Doll Decorations in Inatori Onsen
Hina no Tsurushi Kazari is a Japanese tradition featuring the hanging of Japanese Hina Dolls. Japanese Hina Dolls are a one of kind hand crafted doll that has roots tracing back to the Edo period where they appeared at the Inatori hot springs. The tradition of Hina no Tsurushi Kazari showcases elaborately decorated Japanese Hina Dolls which are hung side by side to wish for good health and growth of young girls. The tradition is recognized around the entire country but is a rare event. The Yanagawa area in Kyushu calls it “Sagemon”. The Sakata area of the Yamagata Prefecture calls it “Kasa Fuku” and in the Izu Inatori area it is called “Hina no Tsurushi Kazari”.
Hanging Hina Doll Decoration Festival
In Higashi Izu Inatori every year a festival is held from the end of January to the end of March. There are two main venues and sponsors where various events are held throughout this time.
The Inatori Cultural Park is one of the main venues where the Japanese Hina Dolls are displayed. 100 pairs, 11,000 Japanese Hina Dolls, are displayed gloriously with luxurious and contemporary decorations. 6,409 large displays are also hung at the entrance of the venue. There are also 3 large pieces hanging that represent the other cities festivals: Fukuoka Prefecture’s Yanagawa Sagemon, and Yamagata Prefecture’s Sakata Kasa Fuku.
Inatori Cultural Park also has cherry blossoms and foot baths. The Izu area is famous for its amazing hot springs; as the Inatori hot spring is particularly famous. In addition to that, visitors can see beautiful cherry blossoms in February because the Kawazu Sakura cherry blossoms bloom rather quickly compared the ones in Tokyo and Kansai where they can only be seen between March and April. So if you come to Japan in February you might catch a glimpse of the cherry blossoms in the Izu area.
At the venue you can really buy Japanese Hina hanging chain. These are all handmade one by one by a Japanese craftsmen and atmosphere has an ancient Japan feel to it. In the Edo period purchasing these Japanese Hina Dolls was rare even for wealthy families so instead of dolls handmade hanging chains were made for parents wishing for their children and grandchildren to happily celebrate their first festival. Thus the Hina hanging chains were born.
Hina stahe Decoration at Susanoo Shrine
Photo Credit: Higashiizu Town
Founded in 1617, the Susonoo Shrine places the Japanese Hina dolls along the steps of the shrine to watch over the shrine and the sea. The Japanese Hina Dolls are on display 10:30 AM to 3:00 PM in the afternoon from February 23rd to May 5th with exceptions to rainy days. It is definitely a spot where visitors will take as many photos as they can.
Hanging Hina Doll Town, Izu-Inatori
Izu Inatori is keeping the Japanese tradition of the hanging Japanse Hina Dolls alive and well as many people crowd the area around this time of year for the festival. There are also various sightseeing spots around the area such as the Kawazu Sakura cherry blossoms who bloom early in Japan. Kaname snapper can at the port of Izu Inatori and of course the famous Inatori hot springs. Between the months of February and March travelers are highly recommended to come visit this unique place.
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Inatori Bunka Park
Address: Inatori 1729, Higashiizu-cho, Kamo District, Shizuoka Prefecture
Access: 3 minutes by bus from Izu-Inatori station
Hours: 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM
Admission Fee: 300 yen
Website: Inatori Association of sightseeing (Japanese)