In Tomo-no-Ura, the Hina-matsuri festival has begun.

From exquisite dolls which previously belonged to noble families in Kyoto, feudal lords, and wealthy merchants in Tomo-no-Ura to those recently hand-made by local residents, a variety of hina dolls are displayed throughout the town. The Hina-matsuri festival prays for the healthy growth and happy future of girls. Platforms are displayed with dolls representing the emperor and empress dressed in beautiful kimono and their court attendants. In Tomo-no-Ura two and three hundred years ago, many of the local merchants displayed the dolls as a form of business promotion to show their customers the wealth of the merchant family and to secure their trust. As you move around the town, you will encounter unique, elaborate and sometimes ostentatious doll displays. This year’s festival features dolls made of origami, a traditional Japanese paper folding art. The dolls are placed in former merchant homes, shops, the local history and folklore museum, and even at the entrance of individual houses! Come and explore the town and see the dolls and traditions that have been handed down from generation to generation in Tomo-no-Ura. The festival will be held until March 11, 2012.

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