Hyakudan Hinamatsuri 2020: Hotel Gajoen Tokyo Announces Hina Doll Festival at 100 Step Staircase

30.December.2019 | SPOT

Hotel Gajoen Tokyo, a historical museum and hotel in Japan, has announced that it will host the Hyakudan Hinamatsuri 2020 doll festival from January 24 to March 15 next year. It will take place at the hotel’s Hyakudan Kaidan, or ‘100 Steps Staircase’―which was registered by Tokyo Prefecture as a Tangible Cultural Property in 2009 for its exceptional architecture and artistic beauty.

 

Hinamatsuri is an annual festival in Japan celebrated on March 3 every year where ornamental dolls are displayed. Hotel Gajoen Tokyo boasts the biggest Hinamatsuri festival in Tokyo, with over 600,000 visitors having attended across the 10 years it has been held.

 

A First For The Festival: Photography Permitted

Up to now, photography at the hotel’s Hinamatsuri has been restricted to protect the displays. However, for the first time ever, next year’s event will allow photography in all of the rooms, which will house dolls symbolising each period of Japanese period: Edo, Meiji, Taisho, Showa, Heisei, and the current Reiwa, not to mention the 500+ zashikibina dolls. There will also be hanging decorations with rabbit designs in the elevator hall created by Nippon Tsurushibina Kyoukai, a non-profit organisation. Also for the first time this year, visitors will be able to dress up in a beautiful uchikake wedding coat and take a photo at the designated photo spot. This is so they can further fill a part of the hina doll world.

 

Tottori, Shimane & Yamaguchi Get Involved For The First Time

Visitors will be able to enjoy dolls in a variety of ways from different places across  Japan, including a giant 2-meter long wall decoration and old hina dolls handed down from families past from the city of Yonago in Tottori, tiny tsuchi dolls from Hokuei in Tottori which can fit in the pal of your hand, renbei dolls, and more. The spectacular collection will have visitors feeling like they are inside a hina doll palace.

 

The Hina Doll of the Ishitani Residence (Chizu, Tottori)

The town of Chizu is located in the southeast portion of Tottori Prefecture and is surrounded by mountains. It flourished during the Edo period as a post town and place of rest for the Tottori Domain as part of sankin-kōtai, a policy which had feudal lords alternate living for a year in their domain, as it headed towards Edo. The Ishitani Residence, which is built facing the Inaba Kaidō―a type of route built during the Edo period for transportation―has almost 40 rooms and spans 4,000 square meters. It is listed as an Important Cultural Property of Japan for its modern Japanese-style architecture. The enormous mansion, which is home to a doma dirt floor supported by great beams as well as a Japanese-style garden which can be seen from all the tatami rooms, is decorated with ancient handed-down hina dolls when early spring settles in. This includes dolls from the Meiji periodo with vibrantly embroidered outfits, gorgeous decorations for the hina doll steps, special hina bowls used when celebrating Hinamatsuri at the Ishitani Residence, and more.

 

Hyakudan Hinamatsuri Memorial: Display Of Over 500 Zashikibina Hina Dolls (Iizuka, Fukuoka)

Iizuka in Fukuoka formerly thrived for its coal mines and bustled as a business dealing in coal. The Former Den’emon Ito Residence spans 2,300 square meters and speaks volumes of the cultural significance of the city’s ties to coal as it belonged to Den’emon Ito who was known as the “King of Coal Mining.” Every year during the Hinamatsuri season, the Itsuzuka Hina no Matsuri festival is held at the residence where hina dolls from 16 areas throughout the town are displayed. The Former Den’emon Ito Residence is the main venue for Itsuzuka Hina no Matsuri, which sees a huge number of zashikibina hina dolls put out. The Residence has been involved with Hyakudan Hinamatsuri twice in the past, and this time, their overwhelming showcasing of 500+ dolls, which has garnered popularity every time, will be put on as a special display. The display will keep with the festival’s theme of tales of Izumo as well as the myth of the Hare of Inaba.

 

Hina no Shitsurai: Table Laying

Another special display will also be put on for the festival with the theme “Hina no Shitsurai,” meaning “setting up a hina living space.” There will be gorgeous table laying by Tomiko Ishibashi, who is an interior decorator working internationally, as well as displays of hina decorations in home living rooms and genkan. Select parts of this exhibition will be available to purchase in the museum shop, so people can take away a memory and try setting up their own hina decorations. And for the first time ever, the festival is opening the Hina Cafe for a limited time between January 24 to February 14 where visitors can sip on Japanese tea and eat Japanese snacks. Hina decorations will serve as the theme for the cafe.

 

Discover the beauty of the Hinamatsuri, a festival unique to Japan, at the 11th Hyakudan Hinamatsuri.

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    24.July.2019 | FEATURES / SPOT

    Those interested in Japanese art should most definitely visit the hotel and museum Hotel Gajoen Tokyo which is now holding the 5th Wa no Akari x Hyakudan Kaidan art exhibition until September 1.

    It is taking place at its Hyakudan Kaidan, or ‘100 Steps Staircase’―which was registered by Tokyo Prefecture as a Tangible Cultural Property in 2009 for its exceptional architecture and artistic beauty. This year’s event has been made bigger and better with brand new exhibits.

    Visitors will ride the exquisitely decorated elevator and first come to an Aomori Nebuta Festival-style float as pictured above with its bright colours and angry gaze. This piece was created specially for the event. It also gives off an original summery smell too.

    As you follow the path deeper into the exhibition―having first taken off your shoes―you will come a line of cloth crafts. You can switch on the lights inside to light up each piece which radiate the natural colours of the material. There are many cloth work pieces on display to enjoy.

    This is what it looks like when looking up the 100 Step Staircase from the bottom. You will come to several rooms when ascending the stairs with light displays in them.

    This is the first room inside which is a display created by bamboo lighting artist NITTAKE from Nichinan, Miyazaki. The bamboo is beautiful on its own but even more so when the lights are turned on in a dark room as the entire room is turned into artwork itself.

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    This room contains umbrella art using Japanese umbrellas from Yamaga, Kumamoto. The colours of the umbrellas turn the room into something magical. The room has a relaxing, soothing vibe to it that makes you want to gaze in silence.

    Dangling further up the stairs are wind chimes which continue the summer vibes.

    There are many unique art pieces too such as these goldfish from Yanai, Yamaguchi. There is artwork from around 40 individuals and groups so there is lots to be discovered. Take your time to admire each and every thing in there.

    The stairs actually go up to 99. Once you have seen the final exhibition on the top floor it’s time to return to the bottom where you take your shoes off.

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  • Feel the Spirit of Japanese Culture With Hotel Gajoen Tokyo’s Yukata Plan

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    Japanese museum and hotel Hotel Gajoen Tokyo is currently offering its new “Yukata Plan” until September 30. The plan includes a yukata service, lunch or dinner, and a chance to witness the Hyakudan Kaidan, or ‘100 Step Staircase,’ which was registered by Tokyo Prefecture as a Tangible Cultural Property in 2009 for its exceptional architecture and artistic beauty.

     

    The plan lets guests wear a beautiful and colourful yukata allows them to get a feel for the Japanese spirit. After enjoying a special food course specially prepared by the hotel’s chef, you will head on over to observe the Hyakudan Kaidan, something offered in the hotel’s popular summer plan. Yukata are available for men, women and children, making it perfect for groups, couples and families. What’s more is that you can take home the yukata, obi sash and geta shoes you choose.

    Once you chance into your yukata you can stroll to some of Meguro’s famous spots such as Meguro River as well as Ryūsenji temple and Ōtori-jinja Shrine, both of which are just a 10-minute walk from the hotel.

     

    Enjoy a real Japanese time this summer at Hotel Gajoen Tokyo.

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    12.June.2019 | SPOT

    Hotel Gajoen Tokyo is both a museum and a hotel which celebrated its 90th anniversary in December 2018. The establishment is set to hold its 5th Wa no Akari x Hyakudan Kaidan art exhibition at its Hyakudan Kaidan, or ‘100 Steps Staircase’―which was registered by Tokyo Prefecture as a Tangible Cultural Property in 2009 for its exceptional architecture and artistic beauty.

     

    The event will run from July 6 to September 1 and will feature all-new exhibits from 40 independent artists and groups from around Japan: from Aomori in the north to Kagoshima in the south.

    Bamboo Artwork by NIITAKE

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    emullenuet are an up-and-coming duo who create artwork out of sand. The two of them have created some pieces just for this exhibition such as Japanese ranma transoms.

    Edo Furin Wind Chimes

    This dramatic exhibit will include lacquer work, glass work, metal carving and more by Tokyo Teshigoto―a group backed by the city of Tokyo which is a collaboration between contemporary designers and traditional Edo techniques which aims to pass down theses kills to the next generation. Summertime furin which chimes will also line the showcase with their delicate designs and sounds. Other contemporary artists will also display their work with Japanese-style paper, allowing for visitors to see cultural assets established during the early Showa period.

    Aomori Nebuta

    This year’s exhibition will also see the return of some legends who have enjoyed popularity at previous runs of the event. As you descend the huge mother-of-pearl raden elevator you will be welcomed by an overwhelming assortment of standout pieces.

    Ishimaki Kokeshi

    Other popular names include Tadaharu Kawamura, a sculptor who works with natural materials such as leaves, shells and Japanese lantern cherries, and Takatoshi Hayashi who is known for their kokeshi dolls.

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