The Daruma Doll: a Must-Have Souvenir from Japan

Get to know more about this amazing souvenir item!

The daruma doll, characterized by its round shape and striking red color, is a traditional Japanese wishing doll that locals buy at the start of the year as a charm that will lead them to success in the coming months. You will often spot this at various shops and restaurants with only one eye filled in — a symbol that the goal or promise it represents is still incomplete.

You can find daruma dolls being sold near famous temples or at souvenir shops around Japan, most of which are produced at the city of Takasaki in Gunma Prefecture, an hour and a half drive north of Tokyo. The origin of Takasaki’s prominence as the epicenter of daruma making can be traced back to the early 1780s when the locals had to learn how to craft them in case of economic hardship.

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