Every year from mid-February to mid-March, Yame City holds its ‘hina-no-sato’ (‘Hina Doll village’) and ‘bonbori’ (paper lantern) festival. The purpose of the well-known ‘hina matsuri’ (literally, ‘doll festival’) is to celebrate the growth of girls into healthy and happy young women. From its popularity as a tradition among local townsfolk in the Edo period, observance of the festival quickly became widespread, and it has since become an established tradition all over Japan.
Known for its production of Hina Dolls, festival time sees the main shopping streets of Yame City bustling with visitors coming to witness the rows upon rows of pretty dolls ornamenting the one hundred or so shops and houses that together make up its quaint, white-walled townscape. A huge variety of dolls is on display, ranging from traditional Edo and Meiji era ones to more contemporary pieces.