A nice destination for short trip from Nagoya is Hida-Takayama, in Gifu prefecture. The town is well preserved in the old style. You can enjoy traditional architecture, rickshaws, and other local traditions. One of these traditions is the Sarubobo.
I have heard that mainly the Sarubobo is meant to be a good luck charm (omamori) to ensure that pregnant women are able to deliver their babies safely. The Wikipedia entry on Sarubobo adds extra on to that.
The Hida-Takayama area is literally overrun with Sarubobo. They are sold in almost every shop, and in a ridiculous ammout of sizes and shapes. There are Sarubobo the size of a regular omamori… There are giant-sized sarubobo, and even tiny sarubobo meant to be attached to cell phones as straps.
There is even a Doraemon posing as a sarubobo… Hello Kitty was on the scene as well, but I was too sarubobo’ed-out to take a picture.
Japanese lesson. “Uzai” 「うざい」。
If I post so many sarubobo pictures like this, you could say that the sarubobo pictures are “uzai”. Which means in this case, repetitive to the point of being annoying.
P.S. I went to Takayama in 2002 as well!