March 1, 2010

Hina Yukimi Kazari (Part 1 of 3)/ひな雪見かざり(パート1/3)

Today, I'd like to take you to Bokushi Dori (Street), where an event called Hina Yukimi Kazari is held from February 20 to April 3. In this event, the fifth this year, stores, restaurants, and others, 53 of them in total this year, display their hina dolls.
This is a map showing where you can see these hina dolls. In the following description, the number following a store or restaurant name is the one indicated on this map.

You can participate in the "stamp rally": You visit 30 of the 53 locations to collect 30 stamps. After the end of this event, presents will be given to 50 people by lottery.

Our trip starts at Shiozawa Station on Echigo Line.

We are greeted by this arch, which says, "Birthplace of Suzuki Bokushi", "Welcome to Chateau Shiozawa" (one of the ski resorts here in Shiozawa), and "Suzuki Bokushi Memorial Museum".

Walk along the road. You can see a three-story, wooden house that used to be an inn.

You will see Tsumugi Ban-ya (coffee house), No. 43, on your right:

Get one stamp rally sheet, and put the first stamp, No. 43, on it.

You will see the factory of Aoki Shuzo on your left, which produces Kakurei and other brands of sake.

In three minutes, we will come to the first intersection with traffic lights.

Turn left, and we will be on Bokushi Dori.

As you can see, there are no utility poles on this street. Another feature is that it has "gangi" (covered alley) along each of the sidewalks of the street.

Nakajima-ya, No. 3, which deals in cement among others:

On the wooden bench, you will see the wooden sign saying, "Feel free to take a look". If you can't find this sign in front of a certain shop or restaurant, please refrain from going inside.

Edited to add on March 6:
When you see this side of the sign, this means that you are welcome to go inside and take a look,

If you see the other side of the sign, which says, "Oyasumi chu" (Closed), this means that you are requested to refrain from going inside.

This event, Hina Yukimi Kazari, is hosted by the association, "Shaga no Kai", and the chairperson of the association, an attractive and energetic woman, lives in this house.
Unfortunately, I didn't go inside the house to look at all those fabulous hina dolls, some of which date back to the Edo period (because I have been there at least three times so far). For those of you who wish to look inside the house, click here to view the hina dolls in Nakajima-ya and others. I think that photos 57 to 81 show the dolls in Nakajima-ya (but I may be wrong).
Poster announcing the event, at Ogiya Shoten (bookstore), No. 4:

The wooden, rectangular sign at the top center of the photo below says,
Townscape Agreement
Acceptance Certificate
Shiozawa Bokushi Dori Kumiai (Association)

This is the supermarket I frequent, Harimaya, No. 30:

Hina dolls in the supermarket:

Closeup of the o-bina (male doll) on the left and the me-bina (femal doll) on the right:

Am I the only one who is more drawn to these little pretty items?:


Amato said...

This is so beautiful Hiro, and special.
Thank you so much!
What a great idea to share this all with your readers.

No, you aren’t the only one who is drawn to the small items, me too.
This is the child in us. ;-)
There are tiny wagashi and temari-sushi! So cute!

Japanese culture is very famous in whole world, no wonder; everything is so interesting and exiting.
I couldn’t stop looking at the dolls and everything else.
Are such dolls expensive? (I’m sure they are)
And all the small items, I have read there is special furniture for hina dolls.

I have seen such furniture on an eBay auction few months ago.
I have some small items for a Buddhist home altar, I bought it from a Japanese seller, there is a tray (bon?) and small dishes with urushi coating. It’s also very cute.

Hiroyuki said...

Amato: Glad to know that I'm not the only one!

Hina dolls are expensive.
Take a look at these examples:

Hina dolls are usually (but not always) what grand parents give to their daughters.
For example, my daughter got hers from her mother's father (that is, my father-in-law). I'll post a photo of my daughter's hina dolls tomorrow, and I think it cost about 90,000 to 100,000 yen.

Yes, "tray" is "bon" in Japanese, but we usually say "o-bon" rather than "bon".