March 3rd is Hinamatsuri. One of the year's major holidays where people pray for the health and well-being of their daughters. In any given house hold, you can find people eating chirashi-zushi(like fried rice, minus the frying, and throw in some vinegar and assorted raw fish) and Hina arare(small colorful pastel snacks made from dried sticky rice, or beans and sugar), and decorating their homes with peach flowers and Hina dolls in celebration.
Here, at Murayama City, they throw many of their own original events related to this beloved holiday. (In Yamagata Prefecture, they often celebrate the Hinamatsuri according to the lunar calendar, so festival dates may not always be on March 3rd). Out of those events, one of the most surprising is the Dan-dan Long Hinamatsuri, where the Shoyo Hall of Shoyo Plaza building is wrapped in a 50m long Hina Dan (display step), holding 6,000 Hina dolls. You can view this impressive display of Hina dolls that have been donated from all over the country and adorably handmade by kindergarteners, all under one roof. In the square in front of the building, they set up a Hina Town with various stands and shops for your Murayama City Hinamatsuri experience.
Among the 6,000 dolls, you will see old and new, from past generations to straight out-of-the-box. Residing inside these dolls, is the hopes and dreams of families for their growing daughters, and the heart and soul of talented craftsmen. Each and every face and kimono is different, so take your time when viewing these beautiful Hina dolls.
Near the Shoyo Plaza building, a display of hanging Hina dolls is held at the Tateoka Community Center at the same time (March 1st - 31st). Every single one of the 4,000 hanging dolls is hand made by local women. You can view this amazing display free of charge.
Please do not touch the dolls on display.
The dolls may fall over so please refrain from running.
Access to Murayama City
JR Murayama Station
Shoyo Plaza, Shoyo Hall
Address: 14-20 Itsukamachi, Tateoka, Murayama City, Yamagata Prefecture
A 5min walk from JR Murayama Station
A 5min walk from Murayama Eki Mae bus stop