Yanagawa – Beyond the Dolls and Decorative Charms

Have you read our report on this year’s Hina Matsuri and sagemon in Yanagawa? If not, click here to get all the deets and plan a trip to Yanagawa this month. Meanwhile here’s a few snaps from our recent visit to Yanagawa, including things to see and do that are might appeal even to those not interested in pretty dolls and cute hanging charms!

Wagyu Beef Curry Pan
Yanagawa most famous dish is grilled eel, but if you’ve already up to the gills in savory seafood, we found a shop selling hearty deep-fried bread filled with Wagyu beef and a curry sauce. Very tasty and filling, normally they sell for ¥480 each, but during the Hina Matsuri, they are just ¥380 each! Supplies are limited, so don’t arrive too late.

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Meat House Onikuyasan (Seiryu Foods)
Address: 47 Okinohata-machi, Yanagawa, Fukuoka
Tel: 0944-72-9834

Sumo Museum
While some may prefer playing with dolls, others might want to check out the Sumo Museum at the Unryu no Sato (Museum and Library). Inside there are some very impressive displays related to the sport of sumo. Unfortunately everything is in Japanese only, but still there is plenty to marvel at. The museum has become particularly popular recently after the stunning win by Kotoshogiku at the Emperor’s Cup in January. On display are several showcases filled with memorabilia lent to the museum by Kotoshogiku’s family. Entrance is free. Unryu no Sato is about a 15-minute drive from central Yanagawa.

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Unryu no Sato (Museum and Library)
Address: 151-2 Takanoo, Yamato-machi, Yanagawa, Fukuoka
Hours: 10:00~18:00 (Fri.: ~20:00)
Tel: 0944-76-1122

Ninja Boatmen
We can’t promise you’ll see this on your visit, but we saw a boatman jumping from a bridge onto a boat! Ninja or Boatman?

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Biggest in the World!
We said we’d avoid dolls in this report but this place is impressive! Setup inside a large warehouse it is reportedly the tallest display of hina dolls anywhere – measuring a dizzying 7.5 m! Besides the colossal display of dolls, there is an impressive sagemon installation, a booth selling souvenirs and and locally grown peanuts on sale.

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Hina-tachi no Harebutai (21-step display)
Address: Yanagawa Honjo-machi Agricultural Warehouse, Yanagawa, Fukuoka
Entry fee: ¥300 (incl. 2 cups of rice to take home)
Hours: 10:00~16:00
Tel: 0944-74-0891

Super Sagemon Souvenirs
You’ll see sagemon on display in almost every shop and cafe in Yanagawa, and some for sale too. Kitahara Miyageten “Sagemon Mikusa” is a shop with a very long history and they stock only their own handmade sagemon. Beware of imitations, and buy only authentic!

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Kitahara Miyageten “Sagemon Mikusa”
51 Okinohata-machi, Yanagawa, Fukuoka
Hours: 9:00~17:00
Tel: 0944-72-2876

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Other shops selling cheaper, less authentic sagemon.

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A sign for sagemon.

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