Hina-matsuri is also Girl's day, as well as a doll's festival, and families with young girls display a group of ornamental dolls representing the Heian court on a red platform. In ancient Japanese custom, hina dolls were set in a boat to drift downstream to sea to take troubles and bad spirits along with them. Kyoto celebrates the Nagashi-bina by floating these dolls between the Takano and Kamo Rivers to pray for the safety of children. Hina arare (sweet crackers), Hishimochi (colorful rice-cakes), and sushi are eaten during this month, and amazake, a sweet non-alcoholic sake is also consumed.
Other Events in March
March 10th is the opening day of this river boat ride on the Hozugawa River from Kameoka to Arashiyama which goes until November. Opening day consists of some fun and interesting events in addition to the boat ride. The ride itself covers 16km in 2 hours. Each boat can hold 22 people and is captained by 3 elderly men, some of who claim to be descendents of boat crews dating back to the early 17th century. In those times, the boats transported goods to the town of Arashiyama. costs 3900 for adults, 2500 for children. Reserve in advance for larger groups.
March 10 - 21
In the Higashiyama area, from Shoren-in Temple to Kiyomizu Temple, lanterns line the streets illuminating the cherry-blossoms overhead. All the temples in the area open their doors to guests in the evening. A variety of events and performances also take place on certain days at participating temples and shrines.