Sarubobo, or Happy Baby Monkey is the star of Takayama Town. Also known as Hida-Takayama, it is tucked away in the Gifu Prefecture amongst the mountains.
Back in the days, grandmas and mothers made Sarubobo for the youngsters hoping for happiness and good health hehehe. Who knew that such faceless dolls can be so significant till today. 😀
You can get Sarubobo from most stores in the old town of Takayama.
Sarubobo comes in different colors to signify different meanings as well.
Gold: Money and Success
Red: Marriage & Family
Yellow: Money and Gambling
Blue: Study & Job
Green: Peace & Health
Purple: Longevity & Success
Black: Talisman for protection from evil
Orange: Friendship, Children and Traveling
I got a gold sarubobo for myself for 340yen (RM12) lolol.
Takayama is quite a charming town. If you want to inject some traditional and authentic Japanese old town into your itinerary, Hida-Takayama is the place to go. Plenty of rural elements of Japan are retained in this humble place.
Because Takayama is located at the heavy snow area of Japan, it has snowfall throughout winter. The snow is super flufffffffyyyyyyy and funnnnnnnnn! It was really cold though, as the temperature could go down to negative.
Becareful when you walk around during winter though, I nearly slipped.
Best Time to Visit
Home to Takayama Festival, which is one of the three most beautiful festivals in Japan.
Spring Festival (14 – 15 April)
Autumn Festival (9 – 10 October)
How to Get Here
It is a good idea to travel from Nagoya to Takayama as you can then go to Shirakawa-go as well. For the cheapest way to get here, take the highway bus from Meitetsu Bus Center in the city of Nagoya that costs 2900 yen (RM96) one way. The journey takes around 2 hours 40 minutes.