Seto's Hina Dolls
Seto MARUTTO Museum Tourism Association
Seto in Aichi Prefecture is a pottery town with more than 1,000 years of history, that is home to two of Japan’s six ancient kilns. The city is also the largest producer of glass materials in Japan.
Seto artisans produce a diverse range of pottery and ceramics, and the town has numerous ceramic and glass studios making traditional hina dolls, of the kind seen across Japan each March during the annual Doll Festival or Hina Matsuri, which celebrates girls’ health and happiness.
The creativity of Seto’s ceramics artisans is on show during the city’s annual 'hina doll tour', the Seto Hina Meguri. The event’s main venue is the Seto-Gura Museum – which houses a millennium of pottery, stoneware and ceramics history – where approximately 1,000 hina dolls are displayed on an enormous tiered platform carpeted in red. The hinadan, as it is known, is four meters high and has eleven steps, resembling a pyramid. Seto locals have nicknamed it the ‘hinamid’. At the top of the ‘hinamid’ sit dolls of the Emperor and Empress in Heian-period (794-1185) costume.
The tour extends throughout Seto City, with hina dolls almost everywhere you look, from community centers to local shops. There are ceramic workshops for those who’d like to make their own hina doll souvenir, and look out too for the special lunches and sweets available for a limited time at around 30 stores in the city.
Seto Hina Meguri takes place annually from late January to early March.
5 minutes walk from Meitetsu Seto Line Owari Seto Station or 40 minutes by car from Nagoya.
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