I was most struck by the amazing attention to detail that went into the dolls. As you can see in the photos, the clothes are absolutely gorgeous, with tiny details that seem like whispers from a bygone age of craftsmanship. The tea-set is so detailed that the whisk for the matcha powder looks practically usable. I wasn’t sure what I expected the dolls to be made of (perhaps porcelain) but they were actually made of high quality plastic, which made them feel so light and delicate in my hands. The set even included two trees, as well as two cherry blossom-print lanterns which would turn on if plugged in. I felt so lucky to have the chance to handle the dolls and appreciate them up close, and I have since become determined to own a set myself someday. I will celebrate this beautiful matsuri with my future daughter.
I was delighted to have experienced this festival, as well as a few others, during my stay in Japan. If you are interested in catching a few festivals yourself, I recommend traveling to Japan during the summer months, when festival saturation is at its highest. It seems like you cannot go a single week without a local festival breaking out (often as local as individual neighborhoods), and many of the major, national ones occur in the summer, as well. Hina matsuri is in March, Kodomo no hi is in May, Tanabata is in July, and Obon is in August. Of course, there are many other festivals during every part of the year, but summertime is like one big celebration, when hard-working students and salary-men and women escape the pressures of responsibility to don a yukata and watch fireworks.