Lonely Planet Writer

Hina Matsuri festival begins in Japan with a seven-metre-tall pyramid display of china dolls

Shoppers are being treated to the dazzling sight of a seven-metre-tall pyramid of china dolls, which has been constructed in a mall in Japan. The display of 1800 ornamental dolls was set up for Hina Matsuri, the traditional Girls’ Day festival, which is now in its 13th year.

Japan begins the Hina Matsuri with 7-metre-tall doll pyramid display in Saitama. Image: Keith Tsuji/Getty Images
Japan begins the Hina Matsuri with seven-metre-tall doll pyramid display in Saitama. Image: Keith Tsuji/Getty Images

The dolls represent the Emperor and Empress of Japan during the Heian period and their attendants and musicians, and they wear the traditional court dress of that time. They were carefully placed on 31 red-carpeted tiers at the Elumi Konosu Shopping Mall in Saitama Prefecture.

Japan begins the Hina Matsuri with 7-metre-tall doll pyramid display in Saitama. Image: Keith Tsuji/Getty Images
Japan begins the Hina Matsuri with seven-metre-tall doll pyramid display in Saitama. Image: Keith Tsuji/Getty Images

The precarious task was carried out by a team of 19 carpenters who worked on the top tiers, and 60 volunteers, who placed the dolls on the bottom.

Japan begins the Hina Matsuri with 7-metre-tall doll pyramid display in Saitama. Image: Toru Yamanaka/AFP/Getty Images
Japan begins the Hina Matsuri with seven-metre-tall doll pyramid display in Saitama. Image: Toru Yamanaka/AFP/Getty Images

Japan’s history of traditional doll-making stretches back approximately 380 years, and the festival aims to raise its profile in this area.

Japan begins the Hina Matsuri with 7-metre-tall doll pyramid display in Saitama. Image: Keith Tsuji/Getty Images
Japan begins the Hina Matsuri with seven-metre-tall doll pyramid display in Saitama. Image: Keith Tsuji/Getty Images

Around 10,000 china dolls will be showcased at six venues in the city during the festival, which runs until 12 March, with the main event taking place on 3 March.

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