Hinamatsuri Festival in Kyoto

Hinamatsuri is a day in Japan where the country celebrates all the girls. Also known as Girls' Day or the Doll's Day, Hinamatsuri is celebrated on 3rd of March every year. Platforms covered with red carpet display ornamented dolls representing the Emperor, Empress, and the court attendants of the Heian era court. In order to make the most of this day in Kyoto, here is a little itinerary for you:

Shimogama Jinja

Shimogama Jinja shrine has a popular celebration for Hinamatsuri where a big set up of dolls is displayed along with the dress up of Heian Queen in the ultimate 12 layered Kimono- the Junihitoe.

The celebration starts at 10:00am, but if you're keen on taking pictures, I advise you to reach early as it crowds with a lot of journalists and tourists. The Heian Emperor and Empress will carry out the ceremony after they proceed to take a seat near the stream.

You will spot a lot of kids, officials, and also Maiko. They will all place the Hinamatsuri Dolls made of paper and straw in the stream. Once they are done, you too can place your dolls that can be bought prior to the ceremony right at the entrance of the shrine. Take a walk through the beautiful garden of Tadasu no Mori forest that surrounds the Shrine. There are a lot of stalls to get breakfast or a snack and you can also buy some "hontoni" cute handicrafts at the handicraft market that is set up right outside the shrine on this day.

Sanjusangendo Temple

Famous for 1001 Kannon (Goddess of Mercy) goddess' statues, this temple has a special way of celebrating Hinamatsuri festival. Master the Ikenobo flower arrangement that is offered to the deity. If you're collecting the good luck amulets in Japan, Hinamatsuri is the only day of the year when the limited edition peach or "momo" amulets are sold at this shrine.

Gion Shirakawa

After you have collected your special amulet and taken joy from the festivities of this celebration, take a walk through Kyoto's most famous area, Gion Shirakawa. It is a home to traditional tea houses and restaurants and runs along the banks of River Shirakawa.

Ayushi Kalyani