Nakatsu Hinamatsuri – Beautiful Hina Dolls Festival in Oita


Nakatsu Hinamatsuri is a spring event in Oita prefecture, Nakatsu city. In Nakastu city, every year from the end of February to the middle of March, you can see many Hina dolls around the city. And on the first weekend of March, you have a great chance to see actual people wearing Hina dolls’ costumes around the Nakatsu castle!

What is Hinamatsuri

Hinamatsuri(dolls festival/girls festival) is an occasion to pray for young girls’ growth and happiness. It’s also called Momo no sekku (peach festival). The day of Hinamatsuri is the 3rd of March. From the end of February to 3rd of March, families with girls display Hina dolls. It is said that Hina dolls take away the bad luck from the girls who have it.

Hinamatsuri song

There is a Japanese folk song for Hinamatsuri. Many people know this song, and you can know what is Hina Dolls Festival like from this song.

Ureshii Hinamatsuri/うれしいひなまつり

Akari wo tsukemasho bonbori ni

Ohana wo agemasho momo no hana

Gonin bayashi no fue taiko

Kyo wa tanoshii hinamatsuri

明かりをつけましょ ぼんぼりに

お花をあげましょ 桃の花



Let’s light the paper covered lamps

Let’s give flowers, peach flowers (to dolls)

Five (doll) musicians with flute and taiko

Today is the enjoyable Hinamatsuri

Odairisama to ohinasama

Futari narande sumashigao

Oyome ni kimashita nesama ni

Yokunita kanjo no shiroikao


二人並んで すまし顔

お嫁にいらした 姉さまに

よく似た官女の 白い顔

The emperor and hina dolls

The two lined up with straight faces

My sister in law who, coming as a bride,

Looked like the (doll) court lady’s white face

*If you want to know more about this song, check this website out! https://www.thejapanesepage.com/audio/hina_matsuri/

Schedule (2018)

  • Hina dolls display

Date: 2018/February/24(sat) – March/11(sun)

Place: Nakatsu castle (中津城)/Moromachi (諸町)/Fukuzawa Kyutaku (福沢旧宅)/Fukuzawa memorial center (福沢記念館)/Hinode cho shopping street (日の出町商店街)/Oe doctor museum (大江医科資料館)

  • Human Hina dolls

Date: 2018/March/3(sat)-4(sun) 12:30-15:30

Place: Nakatsu castle

  • Fukuzawa Yukichi house/ memorial center

Tea ceremony experience: every Saturday and Sunday during the festival 11:00-14:00

Traditional instrument – Koto(琴) concert: March 3rd/4th/10th/11th 12:00-

Festival Activities

If you want to have more Japanese cultural experience, there are these options at this event!

  • Princess experience 1h/3,500 Yen (including Japanese sweets) \4,500 Yen (including lunch)
  • Walking in Yukata 2h/3,900 Yen (including sweets) \4,900 Yen (including lunch)

*Dates are negotiable. You should check the homepage before you go to this event. Also, you need to make a reservation for these activities. You can access the following link https://nakatsuyaba.com/?cat=87 to make a reservation.

Don’t Stay Hungry

There are some shops and restaurants open for this event on the Moromachi street. You can eat Japanese sweets, Udon, Chanpon, Yakiimo, Chirashi-sushi, Inari-sushi and more!

Tired? Let’s go to Onsen!

Oita prefecture is famous for Onsens. Don’t miss out on great hot springs when you go to this event! Here are some onsens I recommend around Nakatsu city.

  • Hachimenzan Kanairo Onsen (八面山金色温泉)

There are nine outside baths near the forest. You can feel the nature and relax.

Homepage: http://www.kanairo.co.jp/index.html

Address: Kanairo Sankotaguchi, Nakatsu, Ōita PrefectureTEL: 0979-26-8065

  • Nishitani Onsen (西谷温泉)

This onsen’s water is so smooth that it makes your skin feel silky!

Homepage: https://www.nishitani-onsen.net/

Address: 1448 Honyabakeimachi, Nishitani, Nakatsu-shi, Ōita-ken TEL: 0979-53-2100

There are many more onsens in this prefecture! So, you can plan to go to this event as a part of onsen hopping trip!

Details and Access

Date: From the end of February to the beginning of March. The main event is usually on March 3rd

Places: Nakatsu castle・Moromachi ・Fukuzawa Kyukyo・Fukuzawa memorial centre・Hinode Cho shopping street

Address: Ōita Prefecture, Nakatsu, Ninocho, 本丸 (Nakatsu Castle)

Access: 15mins walk from Nakatsu station

Homepage: https://www.city-nakatsu.jp/kankodocs/2018011700145/

Closing Remarks

If you have a plan to go to Kyushu during Hinamatsuri season, you should make a plan to pay a visit to this fantastic event! There are so many Hinamatsuri events in Japan. But there are only a few places where you can see human Hina dolls and have the experience to be Japanese. I am sure you will have a great Japanese cultural experience!

If you are in Oita prefecture not for Hinamatsuri, you can enjoy Onsens! Oita prefecture is also called Onsen prefecture. There are so many types of hot springs there. If you want to know about onsens in Oita, you can check the following article!

Discover Oita Prefecture With its Fascinating Festivals and Hot Springs!

Would you like to avoid typical routes when you are in Japan next time? Then Oita prefecture is a perfect destination to see rural Japan, enjoy delicious local food, soak in numerous hot springs and experience the hospitality of local people at unforgettable festivals! The following article will guide you to the best activities you must try when you are in Oita Prefecture!

URL: https://festivalgo.huber-japan.com/events/6193/

Would You Like to Know How to Enjoy a Japanese Festival Even More?

A lot of people when they get to a Matsuri for the first time feel a bit lost. They confuse about what is happening around. If you are new to Japanese Festivals or want to know an alternative way of how you can enjoy these events, the following article will provide you with a set of helpful tips on how to choose a proper festival and activities you should try there. Please don`t hesitate to take a look at it!

URL: https://festivalgo.huber-japan.com/events/5363/

Don’t Stay Hungry at the Festival!

Image courtesy of Tomomarusan

For all foodies who enjoy Japanese Festivals would be nice to get acquainted with the rich choice offered by Yatai (Japanese festival food stalls). The food presented during Matsuri is pretty different from the one you get at the restaurants in Japan. Besides, there is a certain charm in grabbing some snack from a food stall and diving back into the festival crowd. I am sure that you will discover something new about Japanese festival food from the following article!

URL: https://festivalgo.huber-japan.com/events/5504/

I was born and raised in Japan, Aichi prefecture. I went to high school in Australia as an exchange student and now I have many foreigner friends in Japan! I hope everyone who visits Japan enjoy our interesting Matsuri culture.

Written on

Other Events You May Like