Today we went to a Hinamatsuri party in Kodaira City, about 10 min away by train. The party was at a local elementary school with about 15 Japanese girls and 15 American girls + parents.
Hinamatsuri means "Doll Festival" and is celebrated as Girls' Day in Japan (kind of Mother's Day but for girls). There was an exhibition by a guy with tops (the spinning toy) and we learned a traditional Japanese dance, the girls got to put on kimonos and have their pix made with the doll display and we did a small gift exchange. It was a lot of fun and a great chance to experience some real Japanese culture.
I got some great pictures, click here to see the rest. It's hard to really tell in the pictures, but there are 6 different sashes around the girls' waists; it took 2 women 20 minutes to completely dress 1 girl.