Iizumi Kannon Darumaichi
Dates: December 17 and 18 every year
December 17 10:00-22:00 (stalls inside and near Shofukuji)
December 18 9:00-12:00
Place: Shofukuji (Temple)
Transportation: Take Daiyuzan Line trains from Odawara Station for 3 stations to Gohyaku Rakan Station and walk for 20 minutes, or take a bus from Odawara Station East Exit and get off at “Iizumi Kannon Mae”, walk for 5 minutes.
There are several “Daruma ichi (Fair)” take place in Japan during winter. Iizumi Kannnon Darumaichi is said to be the earliest in Kanto region, while others mostly hold in January to March. Daruma dolls are believed as good luck items. Their round shape reflect a proverb “Nana korobi Ya oki (Fall seven times, get up eight times)”, meaning to keep the strong mind even if you make numbers of mistakes. Don’t give up! Red colours refer protection against evils. People buy them for many reasons, for example; students taking university exams, shop owners wishing prosperous business, politicians hoping to win elections, and families pray for safety. When you buy a daruma doll, take it to the temple to have one eye drawn. Daruma will keep eye on you, and after you have reached the goal or success, draw another eye by yourself. Both buying for yourself and as a present are available so why not take this paper-made light lucky charm back home for a memory of your journey?