A Celebration of Hina Dolls

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Page ID1011158  Last update January 25, 2019

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About the Celebration of Hina Dolls

Each year starting in late February, the rooms of the Hino-shuku Honjin are decorated with sets upon sets of Hina dolls in preparation for the Japanese holiday Hina-matsuri. Also called the Doll Festival or Girls Day, Hina-matsuri is a day to wish for the health and happiness of young girls and takes place annually on March 3rd. Typically, Japanese families with young daughters celebrate by displaying a set of dolls in their houses. At the Hino-shuku Honjin, you can learn the origins of the tradition and see how dolls stylistically evolved over the centuries. You can also take a look at collections of tsurushi-bina, a now difficult-to-find style of Hina dolls which resemble hanging mobiles.

A large set of Hina dolls between tsurushi-bina mobiles

Information about the 2019 Celebration of Hina Dolls

Time and Place

Dates: Tuesday, February 19 – Sunday, March 3 (Excluding Monday, February 25)

When: 9:30 am through 5:00 pm (Admissions close at 4:30 pm)

Where: Hino-shuku Honjin: Hino Honmachi 2-15-9, Hino City, Tokyo

Admission: Free with admission to the Hino-shuku Honjin (200 yen adults, 50 yen children)

Getting There:

Taking public transportation is recommended.

Via Chuo Line: 13 minute walk from JR Hino Station

Via Tama Monorail: 15 minute walk from Koshu Kaido Station

Map showing Hino-shuku Honjin and closest train stations

About the Exhibition

The Celebration of Hina Dolls is a temporary Hina doll exhibition held at the Hino-shuku Honjin. The Honjin was constructed in the Edo period, the same era of Japanese history that the tradition of layered Hina doll sets spread through Japan. Dolls of various time periods, styles, and sizes will be on display. Dolls will include:

Nagashi-bina Dolls

Hina-matsuri is believed to trace its roots back to a cleansing ritual called nagashi-bina performed in the Heian period (794-1185). Modern recreations of paper dolls used in nagashi-bina will be on display.

Traditional Hina Dolls

Several traditional tiered Hina doll sets will be on display. The sets portray imperial court settings, with dolls of an Empress, Emperor, and their various attendants. Some sets also include doll furniture and props.

Non-traditional Hina Dolls

The appearance of Hina dolls has gradually grown more varied over time in response to ever-changing trends. Many newer doll sets reimagine the imperial court in alternative or more modern styles.


In the Edo period (1603-1868), Hina dolls were a luxury not all families could afford. Mothers collaborated with family and friends to hand-make dolls for their daughters, stringing the collections together as hanging mobiles. Each shape has its own symbolic meaning.

Tip for English Speakers

Cards explaining Hina-matsuri and the history of Hina dolls in English will be available at the front desk to borrow free of charge. Please return the cards to the front desk after you finish looking through the exhibition.

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