The Hina Matsuri is a festival held all over Japan that celebrates the growth of young girls. It is most common for families with daughters to display Hina dolls inside of their homes. However, in the town of Aya, Miyazaki Prefecture, the Ayahinayama Matsuri is celebrated in a dynamic way, much different from other areas.
Hina dolls here are decorated not in households, but in large dioramas known as Hinayama that depicts the dolls in natural mountainside settings. The custom of making Hinayama started over hundreds of years ago in this local area and in recent years it has been recovered and brought back to life as a part of the Ayahinayama Matsuri.
Pray for the happiness and health of the local young growing girls and feel the hopes and wishes of the town's ancestors by taking in these elaborately made Hinayamas.
The local townspeople of Aya, who were far from wealthy at the time that the Hinayama began, had the custom of gathering stones and twigs to create dolls along with models of the mountains where mountain deities resided, and bringing them to the families that just welcomed in new-born daughters. From ancient times, it is said that women are the gods of the mountains so it is only fitting that locals would celebrate the birth and pray for the healthy growth of the town's girls in this fashion.
Hinayama dioramas are displayed in 20 locations throughout the town. Enjoy viewing all of the dynamic museum-grade displays.
On the last day of the festival, the Ayahina Procession is held, made up of the town's children. Wrapped in vibrant traditional garments, roughly 80 children parade through the streets decorating the town to which Spring has just arrived. The parade is led by a woman dressed as Ohinasama, the very princess depicted in the set of Hina dolls.
On the 26th of February and the 4th of May, the local cuisine known as Dagojiru is handed out free of charge. An ancient tradition in this region, Dagojiru is a soup resembling miso soup that contains dumplings made of wheat flour. There is a limit of only 200 bowls of soup so time your trip wisely and try some!
Gururin Aya (Event Information Page)
Please do not touch the displays and decorations.
Access to Aya Town
JR Minami-Miyazaki Station
By Train and Bus
From JR Minami-Miyazaki Station, walk 5mins to Miyako City Bus Terminal, take the Kunitomi/Aya Line to Aya-cho (60mins).
By Plane and Bus
From the Miyazaki Airport, take the bus to Miyako City Bus Terminal (12mins), then take the Kunitomi/Aya Line to Aya-cho (60mins).
60min drive from the Kobayashi Interchange by Rt. 268.
40min drive from Miyazaki City.
60min drive from Miyakonojo City.
Aya Town, Chuo-dori main shopping street
Address: 329-1, Minamimata, Aya-cho (Address of Aya Town Society of Commerce and Industry, located on the shopping street).
Nanroku Community Center
Address: 323-1 Minamimata, Aya-cho
Aya Fureai Kan
Address: 329-1 Minamimata, Aya-cho
Address: 515 Minamimata, Aya-cho