Every year one of the three biggest Daruma Doll Festival is held in Yoshiwara, Fuji City!
This year it was held a bit earlier than usual on February 6=8th.
Daruma Dolls are hollow, round, Japanese traditional dolls modeled after Bodhidharma, the founder of the Zen sect of Buddhism. These dolls, though typically red and depicting a bearded man (Dharma), vary greatly in color and design depending on region and artist. Though considered omocha, meaning toys, Daruma have a design that is rich in symbolism and is regarded more as a talisman of good luck to the Japanese. Daruma dolls are seen as a symbol of perseverance and good luck, making them a popular gift of encouragement.
These are changed every year, making for a profitable business.
Read more information about Daruma dolls THERE!
Once you get off Yoshiwara JR Sation, next to Fuji JR Station take the exit on the left.
You will know you are on the right path when you see the flag sign!
Like in any festival in Japan you its importance by the length of road access lined up with all kinds of stands and shops!
They were many that day!
Actually if you had all shops leading to the Temple and the shops inside it, you’ll find around 600 of them offering their wares for three days to about 180,000 visitors to this Festival held since the Edo Era!
Goldfish scooping pond!
Grilled ayu trouts!
Dried shirasu and sakuraebi!
Finally reached the stairs of Bishamaonten Shrine/毘沙門天!
Actually the grounds are teh locale to both the shrine and a big Buddhist Temple called Myohouji/妙法寺!
A monument offered by Izu Nagaoka Village!
The torii/Shrine entrance gate!
A solid crowd!
In Japan, even in such a crowd, it is not difficult to move around!
The daruma at last!
Their owners will paint the pupils of their eyes back home!
Can you see the monkey darumas on the left?
The whole place has become red!
There were also farmers peddling flowers and bonsai trees!
These darumas seemed to be burning!
An inviting cat!
There were quite a few food stands on the premises, too!
This year is the Year of the Horse!
There were quite a few people around the dragon shrine!
The enormous Myouhouji Temple in the background!
Back to the screaming dragons!
What were these people doing below the dragons around the incense burrning bowl?
They were imprgnating themselves with the sacred incense smoke!
A double Mount Fuji?
Postcard snow-capped Mount Fuji!
It was then time to go back!
A last colorful photo of daruma dolls!
A colorful tiger coat!
Hang on, still one more picture to take…
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