Doll Making in Saitama
Japanese dolls, traditional crafts well known for their delicate and graceful beauty, are popular souvenirs for overseas travelers. Did you know that nearly half the number of Japanese dolls sold in Japan are manufactured in Saitama? The production of dolls has been going on since long ago in Saitama, which has been blessed with plentiful paulownia wood as material for dolls and water of good quality to dissolve the white pigment used to paint dolls. Dolls are produced in Iwatsuki, Kounosu, Tokorozawa, and Koshigawa in Saitama, among which Iwatsuki and Kounosu are the largest production areas; dolls produced in these areas are famous nationwide. The main streets in town are lined with doll manufacturers, which look as if they were doll-dedicated streets. People visiting these places will find that each store is crammed with dolls manufactured by artisans who put their hearts and souls into their creation. You will be content to just visit these stores and look at the dolls. Iwatsuki and Kounosu are famous for their dolls' festivals as well including the Bikkuri Hina Matsuri (lit. Surprise Japanese Doll Festival), which features Japan's highest tiered doll stand, and the Iwatsuki Festival, which features pleasant Manto Mikoshi (a lighted portable shrine) and doll costume parades. The two areas of production hold these doll-related festivals to boost the production of traditional dolls in Saitama.