All-Night Big Daruma Market Report


Daruma Market


The capital of daruma dolls (wishing doll), Takasaki City, [W:Gunma Prefecture] annually holds the Japan’s largest daruma market (daruma ichi).

I have never been there but I wanted to get the feel of it.

Luckily, I happened to find a detailed report of the market, so let me share it with you today.


<The Report Starts Here>

The daruma market is called “Nanakusa Taisai Daruma Ichi (also known as Takasaki Daruma Ichi)” and held on January 6 and 7 at Shourinzan Daruma Temple in Takasaki City, Gunma Prefecture.

The market is going on through the night. To experience the night market, I left in the midnight.

Let’s go!

daruma bento

First, I munched on daruma bento.


daruma picture

Daruma mural at the west exit in Takasaki Station.

daruma picture

Looking at it closer, and it looks vigorous.



daruma sign

Huge daruma sign near the site.


daruma market

The first thing I saw at the site was the room for people to offer the old daruma dolls
and the ofuda (talisman) that were used through the last year.

daruma market

The inside of the room.

daruma market

All kinds of daruma dolls were stored.


daruma temple

Entrance of Shourinzan Daruma Temple.

daruma temple

Long stairs. You have to sweat before fun time lol.



daruma market

Finally, the market!


daruma market

Selling daruma dolls.


daruma ema

They sell daruma ema (votive picture tablet) too.
If I write my wish on it, it will come true?


daruma temple

In the temple, there is a statue of Bodhidharma, who is the model of daruma doll.


daruma market

In the market, other bringers of good luck are sold too, such as kumade (lucky rakes)
and manekineko (beckoning cat).


daruma market

Decorations called “otakara” are sold too.
It looks like tanabata (the Star Festival) ornament.


daruma market

The seller was telling the meaning of “otakara” to a Nepalese,
who seemed to be really interested.


colorful daruma

Daruma dolls are usually red but colorful ones are popular recently.
Each color has meaning, for example, the gold one has wish to “be rich”.


daruma temple

Unusual “opening daruma’s eye” service only found here!
Daruma dolls are usually sold without pupils; they have only whites of the eyes. In the traditional way, the holder paint right eye with black ink first while he/she makes a wish, then the left eye is left blank so that the holder can fill it when he/she obtains his/her goal.
At this temple, the monks paint your daruma’s eye instead of you. Why would I miss the rare chance? I handed my darma doll to them.


daruma temple

“Namyo horen gekyo…”
They were chanting a sutra while putting a pupil in my daruma’s eye.
“Here you are.” After the ostentatious act, they handed my daruma back.
I looked at the eye…


daruma temple

There was only a dot like a tiny spot on the eye… THAT’S IT!?
Well, it seems like that they put merciful mind in it,
so the holder puts bigger pupil when he/she makes a wish.

<The Report Ends here>


The reporter went to the market in the midnight but most people go there during a day.

GOOD JOB reporter (^_^)b

Reference: Daily Portal Z


This is JAPAN Style!


You should follow me on Twitter HERE.