Special Japanese Art Exhibition at Hotel Gajoen Tokyo
Annual Japanese art exhibition, “Hyakudan Hinamatsuri”, a series of seven gorgeous and luxurious rooms, linked by 99-step staircase is now into its 11th year. The latest exhibition will focus on beautifully crafted Hina dolls from the Izumo (Shimane), Inaba (Tottori) and Hagi Hina (Yamaguchi) regions. It is open to the public from January 24th to March 15th 2020.
January 24th - March 15th 2020
Hotel Gajoen Tokyo
10:00-17:00 (last entry at 16:30)
Adult 1,400 JPY (1600JPY if you purchase on the day at the counter)
※for details, please check here
3 minutes walk from Meguro Station (West Exit)
※there is a free shuttle bus from Meguro Station East exit or Shinagawa Station Takanawa exit
for more details, please check its official webpage here
2020/03/11Check-in (2 persons per room)※Nightly fee per person Update date：2020/02/27
Hinamatsuri, a.k.a “Doll’s Festival”/“Girl’s Festival” is to celebrate and pray for continued health and happiness for girls on March 3rd. Each family display their Hina dolls dressed in Heian Era imperial court clothing. In traditional style, Hina dolls are placed on step altar where the emperor and empress dolls sits on the very top with other court members placed on the lower steps.
Now into 11th year, this special art exhibition, Hyakudan Hinamatsuri (directly translated as 100 steps staircase exhibition) is once again held at Hotel Gajoen Tokyo. The series of seven gorgeous and luxurious rooms are decorated with Hina Dolls and only open to the public during this time.
What more special this year is that photography is allowed in all rooms (with some exceptions) There is even a photo spot where you can wear kimono and take photos with Hina dolls too.
Note of caution, due to protection of the exhibits, heater has been turned off so its best to keep your jackets on. Plus you would need to go up and down the stairs so strollers and wheelchairs are not allowed.
Virtual tour of the Hyakudan Kaidan is available from their official web page here
The Jippo Room
This is the first room of the Hyakudan Kaidain. In May 2019,Japan welcomed a new emperor with the start of the new era, Reiwa meaning “Order and Harmony”. In this room, as the title states, “Hina Dolls, Travelling in Time”, visitors are welcomed with Hina Dolls from each periods in history.
Edo period Kyoho dolls (top) Taisho period hina dolls (bottom)
Meiji period Hina dolls representing the emperor and empress at that time.
Showa period Hina dolls
Heisei period hina dolls wearing the same kimono worn at the wedding of crown prince and princess (current emperor and empress)
Reiwa period hina dolls wearing the same kimono the new emperor and empress wore at Daijosai (The Great Thanksgiving Festival)
The Gyosho Room
This is the second room of the Hyakudan Kaidan gorgeously decorated with more than 1000 dolls from Izumo, Shimane prefecture.
In commemoration of the Hyakudan Hinamatsuri 2020, the first exhibition to be held in the new Reiwa period, this piece of art added a story that symbolizes the new era. It's about a sword that was passed on to the new Emperor during his enthronement ceremony. It is said that the sword was born out of the legendary 8-headed and 8-tailed Japanese dragon, Yamata No Orochi who got slayed by the storm god, Susanoo. He then presented this sword to his sister, Amaterasu as a way of apology for bad things he has done in the past. The sword was later passed on to Ninigi, who was believed to be the first ancestor of the Japanese imperial family and also the grandson of Amaterasu. Since then, this sword was said to become one of the The Three Sacred Treasures symbolizing the Japanese imperial throne.
Yamata No Orochi
The Soukyu Room
This is the third room of the Hyakudan Kaidan where you can enjoy Japanese green tea with sweets while viewing the modern Hina dolls. As a souvenir, you can take home the black toothpick called Kuromoji.
※It will cost extra 1000yen (tax inclusive) .
Only available from 10am to 4pm (L.O) from January 24th to February 14th 2020
Green tea and sweets
The Seisui Room
This is the fourth room of Hyakudan Kaidan and Hina dolls in this room are from Inaba, Tottori prefecture. Unbelievably the Hina dolls decorated in this room are from late Edo period, more than 160 years old. It may seem to be in a really great condition, some of these dolls were severely damaged due to Western Tottori Earthquake.
The Seikou Room
This is the fifth room of Hyakudan Kaidan with Hina dolls from Hagi, Yamaguchi prefecture. Unlike other Hina dolls, it's very interesting to see dolls standing on the sides of the stair altar. This is very unique to this prefecture and these dolls on the side are called “Hoko-san” dolls. It is said that there are two different ways to write its name in Japanese, one meaning “to hold children抱子人形” and the other “crawling baby這子人形”. These dolls usually have short hair and are made to wish for children’s continued health and happiness.
Hina dolls from Hagi, Yamaguchi Prefecture
The Kiyokata Room
※Due to licensing, photography is only allowed to take hina dolls. Pictures of the walls and ceiling are prohibited.
This is the sixth room of Hyakudan Kaidan with hina dolls borrowed from Ishitani Residence in Tottori prefecture. Ishitani Residence is now Nationally Designated Important Cultural Property and has been engaged in land-owning and forestry businesses on an extensive scale for generations. This hina doll is from the Meiji period, about 150 years ago, but the emperor and empress dolls on the top still keep its beautiful red color since then. The kimono which the standing dolls on the bottom are wearing are made from the actual kimono that Mr Ishitani and his families wore.
While the girls celebrated their special day with these Hina dolls, the boys in the San'in Region(Tottori, Shimane, and Northern Yamaguchi prefecture) celebrated the day with Tenjin Dolls, made of clay. The biggest doll in the middle portrayed the first born son and on its right, the second born and on its left, the third born.
This heart shaped design is known as Inome design meaning boar eye. Just for this exhibition, it was recreated in this room. It’s thought to have originated from the shape of an eye of a wild boar and has been around for a very long time. At the Ishitani Residence in Tottori prefecture, this Inome design is a popular spot for photography and often taken on wedding photos.
The Summit Room
This is the seventh and the final room of Hyakudan Kaidan with the exhibition of original illustrations from “Tenohirano Engimono Folk Toys of Japan”. As you come across this room, you can have a chance to try wearing kimono and take a photo.