木曜日, 5月 9th, 2013...9:51 am

Walking Tour ~ Saitama Prefecture: Kounosu, Gyoda, Yoshimi Part1

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Walking Tour ~ Saitama Prefecture: Kounosu, Gyoda, Yoshimi Part1
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Taking a stroll in a place where there are stores with tradition. This time, we take you to Kounosu-shi, a city famous for its flowers and doll production, and two others, Gyoda-shi and Yoshimi-shi, which display Japanese history with ancient tombs and remains.

Kounosu-si, found in the center of Eastern Saitama at the North end of Omiya Plateau, is a city of about 120,000 people. It is about one hour from Tokyo.

Let’s begin by lerning out about the history of Japanese dolls. Hina no sato is a tourism center in Kounosu-shi which is used as an exhibition facility for the traditional doll craft.

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When the area flourished as inn town during the Edo period, many doll craftsmen moved into the city. The tradition has been passed down until today, and there are still many doll shops in the city.

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Beginning with the Hina dolls (dolls for the celebration of Girl’s Day called Hinamatsuri), the exhibition in the facility displays all kinds of dolls used for traditional Japanese festivals.

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The exhibitions gives us a thorough knowledge about the tradition of doll making in Kounosu, demonstrating the step by step process of the craftsmen’s work as well as a recreation of their workplace back when it began.

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The traditional architectural atmosphere of Hina no sato gives off a nostalgic feeling.

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A doll store called Hirota-ya is just a few minutes’ walk away from Hina no sato. This long-established Kounosu doll store has Hina dolls and various other festal dolls as well as gifts. Every year, the store holds a doll-crafting event attracting many visitors.

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Some of the dolls in the shop are for exhibition only, and among them is a doll that has been presented as a gift to the king of England.

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The souvenirs that are sold here are very popular among foreigners.

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This area with doll shops standing one next to another is named Ningyo (doll in Japanese). During the festival season, the area becomes decorated with dolls.

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