Hinamatsuri is a festival held in March to pray for the healthy growth of girls. From the beginning of February, when people start decorating Hina dolls, Yanagawa holds a town-wide Hina Festival event. During the festival, the entire town is decorated with hanging decorations called “sagemon,” which are unique to the Yanagawa region.
What is “Sagemon”?
In Yanagawa, a girl’s first Hina Festival is an important occasion. Forty-nine sagemon and two Yanagawa decorative balls are hung next to the doll stand, and a big celebration is held to pray for the child’s health. The tradition began at the end of the Edo period (1603-1868), when people who had baby girls began making decorations from cloth scraps and hanging them on either side of the doll stand. In Yanagawa, sagemon are often in the shape of auspicious creatures, such as rabbits and cranes. Nowadays, when spring draws near, everyone in town hangs the colorful sagemon in their homes and shops, making for a sight to behold.
Yanagawa Hina Festival
• 2/11 (Sat., hol.) ~ 4/3 (Mon.)
• Center of Yanagawa City, Fukuoka (Nishitetsu Yanagawa Sta. to Okinohata area)
• Sagemon sightseeing PDF map
• Yanagawa Tourism Bureau Official Website – 29th Yanagawa Hina Festival Sagemon Meguri
Main spots where Sagemon is exhibited
• Okinohata Sagemon Park (83 Inarimachi, Yanagawa City, Fukuoka)
Warrior banners of Tachibana Muneshige and Ginchiyo’s along with a 100-meter long sagemon scrolls will be displayed. At night, lanterns will be lit.
• Yanagawa Shopping Street (Kyomachi intersection ~ Tsujimachi intersection)
• Yanagawa Yokamon-kan (13-1 Kyomachi, Yanagawa City, Fukuoka)
The largest sagemon in Yanagawa, “Giant Sagemon,” will be displayed.
• Yanagawa Tachibana-tei “Ohana” (1 Shinhokamachi, Yanagawa City, Fukuoka) Entry fee ¥1,000, HS¥500, JHS & ES ¥400
• Yanagawa City Tourism Information Center (35 Okinohatamachi, Yanagawa City, Fukuoka)
• Hakushu Kitahara Memorial Hall (55-1 Okinohatamachi, Yanagawa City, Fukuoka) Entry fee ¥600, student ¥450, child ¥250
• Former Toshima Residence (Ondomachi, Yanagawa City, Fukuoka) Entry fee ¥100 *free for Hakushu Kitahara Memorial Hall visitors.
Yanagaw Hina Festival 2023 Event Schedule
1/28 (Sat.), 1/29 (Sun.) 10:00~16:00
Exhibition and Sale of Sagemon
Yanagawa Civic Gymnasium (53-1 Honmachi, Yanagawa City, Fukuoka)
About 500 handmade sagemons and 2,000 Yanagawa mari and handicrafts will be displayed and sold by members of women’s associations and silver human resource centers.
2/11 (Sat., hol.) 10:00~
Ohina-sama Opening ritual and Parade
Hiyoshi Shrine (7 Sakamoto-machi, Yanagawa City, Fukuoka)
This is the kick-off event for Yanagawa Hina Festival. At Hiyoshi Shrine, they pray for the arrival of spring, the healthy growth of children, and the safety of the Yanagawa hina festival.
2/11 (Sat., Hol.) ~ 4/3 (Mon.)
Yanagawa Shopping Street
Yanagawa Yokamon-kan (13-1 Kyomachi, Yanagawa City, Fukuoka)
In Yanagawa, a girl’s first Hina Festival is an important occasion. Sagemon and two Yanagawa decorative balls are hung next to the doll stand, and a big celebration is held to pray for the child’s health. The tradition began at the end of the Edo period (1603-1868), when people who had baby girls began making decorations from cloth scraps and hanging them on either side of the doll stand. In Yanagawa, sagemon are often in the shape of auspicious creatures, such as rabbits and cranes. Nowadays, when spring draws near, everyone in town hangs the colorful sagemon in their homes and shops, making for a sight to behold. See the largest sagemon display inside Yokamon-kan, a shop on Kyomachi Dori that offers many specialties of Yanagawa.
3/4 (Sat.), 3/5 (Sun.), 3/11 (Sat.), 3/12 (Sun.), 3/18 (Sat.), 3/19 (Sun.)
Hina-Viewing Boat Tours
This unique opportunity will afford you a completely different view of the Hina Festival. This is a special boat ride for a limited period of time that takes you around the Yanagawa Yokamonkan, Hiyoshi Shrine, and the Ohana in a boat decorated with traditional Yanagawa mari boll. It includes a box lunch or sweets to enjoy on the boat. Reservations are required at least three days in advance. Tours last 2 hours.
*Yanagawa Hina Festival Coupons (¥500 coupons x 3) that can be used at participating stores in Yanagawa City and ¥500 x 2 gift certificates that can be used at the Yanagawa City Shopping District Promotion Association will be given away.
Upstream course: Reception at Okinohata Tourist Information Center
• Departure at 10:00: included sweets
• Departure at 12:00: included lunch box
Downstream: Reception at Yokamon-kan
• Departure at 12:15: included lunch box
• Departure at 14:15: included sweets
3/4 (Sat.), 3/5 (Sun.) 10:00~15:00
Kimono Day – a Great Chance for Photos!
Mar. 4 and 5 is Yanagawa Kimono Day—when almost everyone in town dons a kimono! Visitors who show up at the Yanagawa Tourism Information Center wearing a kimono will receive some benefits such as lottery tickets for special products and tickets to tourist facilities.
*The first 300 visitors will receive two ¥500 coupons that can be used at participating stores in Yanagawa City!
3/26 (Sun.) 11:00~12:20 (2nd cancelation)
Ohina-sama Water Parade
EVENT CANCELED for 2nd time – due to rain, the water parade planned for today has been canceled. Official announcement: https://www.yanagawa-net.com/news_event_list/detail/aa537455-78e9-4979-9f9b-b666133f5501/#bread-crumbs
Yanagawa, Princess Water Parade (Mar. 21, 2021)
4/3 (Mon.) 10:00~
Nagashi Hina Festival
Downstream of Yanagawa Bridge
The finale of the Yanagawa Hina Festival. Children board a boat and float their origami hina dolls down the river, attaching strips of paper with their wishes on them.
For just ¥500 per day, you can rent a bicycle from locations to conveniently see all the sagemon in Yanagawa, the canal ends or continue further to see the banks of the Ariake Sea. (reservations are not accepted)
• Nishitetsu Yanagawa Sta. (0944-72-2503) Shimohyakucho, Mitsuhashimachi, Yanagawa City, Fukuoka
• Daito Enterprise (0944-72-7900) 18-9 Jogumachi, Yanagawa City, Fukuoka
• Okinohata Tourist Information Center (0944-74-0891) 35 Okinohatamachi, Yanagawa City, Fukuoka
Kyushu Live – Yanagawa Hinamatsuri and Canal Cruise (Feb. 14, 2022)