PLUS - flea markets

Buried treasures
Something old, something new...

In flea markets all over the Kanto plain, whole slices of Japanese history are up for sale - sometimes at bargain basement prices. But with a growing interest among Japanese in things not so new, pickings are getting slimmer, and Sunday "flea marketing" is no longer the preserve of penurious gaijin. There are still great deals to be had, though, and below is a short list of some Tokyo-area markets with some good pickings. Remember: Just because it looks old doesn' mean it is, and always, always bargain.

Arai Yakushi
This market's specialty is ceramics, mostly of the blue and white variety. Plates, bowls, cups, saucers, some at eye-poppingly high prices. There are also old kimono, glass items, ancient clocks and various knickknacks but not much in the way of furniture.
When: First Sun of every month
Nearest stn: JR Nakano or Arai Yakushi stn, Seibu Shinjuku line

Fuda Tenjin
A small flea market held on the grounds of a picturesque temple, prices are good and bargains can often be had on items of furniture, such as tansu (chests) and the like. An entire street lined with food stalls makes this a cultural and culinary experience.
When: The 25th of every month
Nearest stn: Chofu, Keio line

Hanazono Shrine Antique Market
This kotto ichi (antique fair) has a twenty-year reputation for providing some of the best buys around, from ancient pottery and glass items to brand new furniture and knickknacks.
When: Every Sun
Nearest stn: JR Shinjuku east exit or Shinjuku 3-chome stn Marunouchi line, exit B3

Heiwajima Antique Festival
This market got so big, it had to be called a festival. With over 200 stalls brimming with old and new antiques, it would be difficult not finding something you want.
When: May 3-5; June 30, July 1, 2; Sept 15-17; Dec 22-24
Nearest stn: Heiwajima on Keihin Kyuko or Tokyu Ryutsu on the monorail

Takahata Fudo
This fairly extensive flea market has a good mix of everything: inexpensive and pricey, pottery and furniture, piles of old kimono, as well as a stand or two selling new items. There's almost no food but the street leading to the station has a fair selection of inexpensive options.
When: The third Sun of every month
Nearest stn: Takahata Fudo, Keio line

Togo Antique Market
The big daddy of Tokyo flea markets, vendors here offer kimono and yukata, hibachi, Imari bowls, framed and unframed prints and more. Add to the mix used records, Barbie dolls, used clothing, old radios and movie posters, all spread out over the spacious grounds of Togo Shrine.
When: Every first, fourth and fifth Sun
Nearest stn: JR Harajuku, Chiyoda line, Meiji-Jingumae

fleamarket1.jpg (18295 bytes)
...something blue at Arai Yakushi


Jinmeigu Antique Market
When: Every first Sat
Nearest stn: Asagaya, Chuo line, north exit

Kawagoe Antique Market
When: The 28th of every month
Nearest stn: Kawagoe or Kawagoe-shi on Tobu Tojo or Saikyo lines

Nogi Antique Market
When: Second Sun
Nearest stn: Nogizaka, Chiyoda line

Urawa Antique Market
When: Fourth Sat of every month
Nearest stn: Urawa, Keihin Tohoku line

Zenya Marley, Luna Delphian

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