Girl’s Day or Hinamatsuri in Japanese is Friday, March 3rd, 2017. A highlight of each year is the magnificent display of Hinamatsuri Dolls at the Meguro Gajoen Hina Doll Exhibit, Meguro. This year the exhibit runs from late January until March 12th, 2017.
Meguro Gajoen Hina Doll Exhibit, Meguro – Hinamatsuri in a Historic Tokyo Building
Hinamatsuri (雛祭り), also called Doll’s Day or Girls’ Day, is celebrated on March 3rd and is a special day in Japan, but not a national holiday. Platforms covered with a red carpet are used to display a set of ornamental dolls (雛人形 hina-ningyō) representing the Emperor, Empress, attendants, and musicians. The dolls are clothed in traditional court dress of the Heian period (794 to 1185). The custom began in the Heian period as a way to remove bad spirits from the house. Most families celebrate Hinamatsuri by displaying dolls and eating and drinking. For more details on Hinamatsuri please read here.
There are thousands of dolls from various prefectures and ages displayed in seven rooms that flank the 100 steps of the Hyakudan. Not only is a lovely experience to see the dolls but to visit the Hyakudan Kaidan which is not usually open to the public. The Hyakudan Kaidan (means 100 step building) was established as a party and wedding hall in 1931. It was originally considered an ornate fairy-tale land following the devastation of the earthquake and fires of the 1920s. Although much of the Gajoen was torn down in 1988, these remaining buildings are a nice reminder of the past. In 2009 the Tokyo metropolitan government selected this Hyakudan Kaidan as one of the tangible properties of Tokyo.
Note: You can not take a stroller in the Hyakudan Kaidan. Best for children 4+ (100 stairs to climb).
To make a day out of it also visit the following two locations each about a 5-10 min walk from Meguro Gajoen
Meguro Gajoen Hina Doll Exhibit Details
Dates and Open hours: January 20th – March 12th, 2017; 10:00 – 17:00 (no admission after 16:30pm)
Cost: Adults 1,500 JPY (advance 1,200 JPY), junior high school – college students 800 JPY, children elementary and under FREE
Access: 10 min walk from Meguro Station; Yamanote, Tokyu Meguro, Namboku, Mita lines