Those visiting Japan around the month of March will almost certainly see gorgeously decorated traditional Japanese dolls on display in stores, hotels, and even in people’s homes.
Hina dolls are displayed to celebrate the Hina Matsuri, also known as the Girls’ Festival, held every year on March 3rd. During the celebration, people pray for the health and well-being of the girls in their lives. When a girl is born, the family may receive hina dolls as a congratulatory gift and to use for future Girls’ Festivals.
Hina dolls are symbolic of the imperial family, with the emperor and empress sitting above all of the other dolls on an altar.
Families adorn the altars with peach blossoms and set out mochi rice cakes as offerings to ensure the good health and futures of the girls in their lives.
Of course, travellers to Toyooka are also able to come across hina doll altars around the city, with perhaps the most impressive display housed inside Zen Minshuku, a traditional Japanese farm homestay located in Tanto (a 40-minute car ride from Central Toyooka).
A tatami room in this traditional farmhouse is home to over fifty hina dolls during the month of March with multiple altars intricately decorated by the homestay’s owner. When not housing these impressive hina doll displays, Zen Minshuku offers traditional farmhouse homestays year-round for those who would like a truly authentic experience in the Japanese countryside.
For more information about Tanto, Toyooka’s quaint farming village, check here!