Nihonmatsu Chrysanthemum Doll Festival (Nihonmatsu Kiku Ningyo)

Nihonmatsu Chrysanthemum Doll Festival (Nihonmatsu Kiku Ningyo)

Each year from mid-October to mid-November, an impressive collection of dolls adorned with chrysanthemum flowers (known as ‘kiku ningyo’) are on display at the Kasumigajo Castle Grounds in Nihonmatsu City, for one of Japan’s salient Chrysanthemum festivals. The city prides itself in its cultivation and cherishing of chrysanthemums, the National Flower of Japan. Several places in the city are adorned with chrysanthemums during the festival period.

Kasumigajo Castle, also known as Nihonmatsu Castle, was destroyed during the Boshin War in the 19th century. Visitors can climb up the castle ruins, of which only the walls remain, and enjoy a view of Nihonmatsu City from above. The castle was made into a prefectural natural park and is beautifully preserved, with many cherry blossom trees and flowers in bloom in the spring, as well as stunning foliage in the fall.

Venue Details

Venue Details
Websitehttps://www.city.nihonmatsu.lg.jp/travel_guide/tourist_attractions/page002704.html
Contact

Nihonmatsu Tourism Federation
(+81) 243-55-5122
info@nihonmatsu-kanko.jp

Best Season
  • Autumn
Related infoTakes place annually from Mid-October to Mid-November.
2023 Dates: October 10 (Tuesday) to November 19 (Sunday), 2023
Access Details
AccessHeld at Kasumigajo Castle Park (Nihonmatsu Castle) in Nihonmatsu City
View directions
Getting there

By Car: 5 min from Nihonmatsu I.C. exit off the Tohoku Expressway

By Train: 20 min walk from Nihonmatsu Station on the JR Tohoku Main Line

 

Nearby

The World Glassware Hall
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Handmade Japanese Washi Paper Craft Experience

Kami-Kawasaki Washi paper has a history of over 1,000 years. It was given the name "Kami-Kawasaki Washi" because of its origin in Nihonmatsu City's Kami-Kawasaki district. Since the name of districts changes with the years, during Japan's Heian Period, it was known as "Michinoku-gami "("paper made in Michinoku").Kami-Kawasaki Washi paper has been used regularly as shoji paper (paper for sliding doors). Many people are charmed by the warmth and simple beauty of Kami-Kawasaki Washi. Paper mulberry, a type of tree used for making the paper, is grown locally. The traditional production method, from producing the raw ingredients to making the paper, is continued in Nihonmatsu City even today.Sticking to traditional production methods ensures that the finished paper has a luxuriant warmth and refinement, and is strong and durable. At present, a variety of products, such as dyed paper, folkcraft paper, and paper crafts, are produced, all of which maintain the paper's original texture. Although the demand for shoji paper is declining, there is still demand for products such as wallpaper and lamp shades. In this way, Kami-Kawasaki Washi remains important to us everyday.  At the Washi Traditional Crafts Gallery - located at Michi-no-Eki Adachi (Roadside Station) - visitors can make washi postcards, paper fans, and other items.

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Design Your Own Shirakawa Daruma

There are records of Shirakawa Daruma (Japanese traditional dolls) being sold as far back as the feudal reign of the Niwa Domain in 1627. Current Shirakawa Daruma are known as “Shirakawa Tsurugame Shochikubai Daruma.” The faces of these dolls are painted to incorporate various animals and plants, with the eyebrows representing cranes, the mustache representing a turtle, the ears representing pines and plum trees, and the beard representing bamboo or pine trees. All of these images are thought to bring good luck. The daruma is known to be a very classical, lucky talisman, started by Matsudaira Sadanobu, the lord of Shirakawa, when he hired the renowned painter Tani Buncho to paint the now famous face on the daruma doll. Once every year a large Shirakawa Daruma Market is held to celebrate and sell the beloved daruma dolls. You can paint your own daruma at the two daruma workshops in town!

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