Japan's Best Flea Markets
Well organized, picturesque and overflowing with secondhand arts, crafts and vintage clothing, Japan’s flea markets are some of the best in the world. From the kimono-filled markets of Kyoto to Tokyo’s ceramic-centric haunts, Japan Objects presents some of the country’s best flea markets.
Yoyogi Park Flea Market (Tokyo)
Sitting right by Yoyogi National Gymnasium, just a short stroll from the neon pink streets of Takeshita Dori in Harajuku is where you’ll find Yoyogi Park Events Square, home to a rotating roster of events all year round, including one of the biggest flea markets in the country. Yoyogi Flea Market hosts around 800 vendors selling everything from clothing and home goods to collectables and small pieces of furniture. It happens every few months or so, but is also quite sporadic, so the best way to find out about the next event is to keep an eye on the Yoyogi Koen event page.
Address: 2 Chome-2-1 Jinnan, Shibuya, Tokyo
Tokyo City Flea Market (Tokyo)
Running from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. almost every weekend since 1996, Tokyo City Flea Market is the city’s most reliable flea market event. Attracting swarms of both native and international guests, the market—held at Oi Race Track Parking Lot 1 in Shinagawa—features somewhere around 300-600 vendors (depending on the day) selling food, clothing, arts, crafts and everything in between. If you’ve got a few free hours on the weekend and are looking to explore the other cultural attractions of Shinagawa, pop by the Hara Museum modern art gallery and the quaint, old style shopping strip that is Tokaido Road.
Address: 1 Chome-6-26 Katsushima, Shinagawa, Tokyo
Aoyama Weekly Antique Market (Tokyo)
Another easily accessible, regular market is Aoyama Weekly Antique Market, hosted on the grounds of United Nations University right in the heart of Tokyo's Aoyama neighborhood. It runs in conjunction and shares space with a popular regular Farmer’s Market, this event is ideal for those looking to pick up one-off unique Japanese arts and crafts, vintage books, or unearthing that impossible-to-find collectible piece. A little smaller than the others, the market hosts around 20-30 stalls all in, depending on the week.
Address: 5 Chome-53-70 Jingumae, Shibuya, Tokyo
Mottainai Flea Market (Tokyo)
Mottainai is a word that in English roughly translates to "wasteful." It’s particularly used in relation to regret over waste, making it a very apt name for this environmentally conscious market event. Started as a way to reduce waste and encourage recycling, the popular event travels around the city, often popping up in popular hubs like Ikebukuro Station West Park, Akihabara UDX, Shinjuku Central Park and Nakano Central Park. Upcoming events and locations are published on their website.
Shitennoji Temple Market (Osaka)
Hosted on the 21st and 22nd of every month on the grounds of Osaka’s historic Shitennoji Temple, this eclectic market is one of the most picturesque markets in the city. Here you’ll find around 400 vendors selling both antique collectible and secondhand goods, as well as new arts and crafts, food and everything else under the sun, at beyond bargain prices. If you’re interested in the world of delicate Japanese porcelain you have to add a visist to the Shintennoji Temple Market to your itinerary.
Address: 1-11-18 Shitennoji, Tennoji Ward, Osaka
Ohatsu Tenjin Shrine Flea Market (Osaka)
Not quite as well known as its temple-based counterpart, the Ohatsu Tenjin Shrine Market runs twice a month on the grounds of Ohatsu Tenjin Shrine. About one tenth the size of Shintennoji Temple Market, the market hosts around 30-40 stalls featuring vendors selling all sorts of unique second hand goods like small decorative pieces and art. Featuring a pretty even split of both western and Japanese items, this particular market may be humble in size but it has long been renowned for its high standard of quality so if you’re a serious collector or are just hunting down that one special piece you can’t miss it.
Address: 2-4 Sonezaki Kita-ku, Osaka
Toji Temple Flea Market (Kyoto)
Located on a UNESCO world heritage sites, a visit to the Toji Temple Flea Market, known to the locals as Kobo-Ichi Market, is a must-see event for those wanting to really immerse themselves in the true culture of Kyoto. Running from the early morning until around 4 p.m. on the 21st of each month, the market is almost more of a festival event featuring a whopping 1,300 stalls selling traditional street food, as well as art, pottery, antiques, kimono, sculptures and anything else imaginable.
Address: 1 Kujocho, Minami Ward, Kyoto
Chionji Tezukuri 'Handmade' Flea Market (Kyoto)
Held on the 15th of each month, Kyoto’s Chionji Tezukuri "Handmade" Flea Market draws visitors from across the city, all making their way downtown to inspect the eclectic collection of handmade and vintage goods on offer at this bustling, but laid back market hub. A network of almost maze-like paths all dotted with vendors, it’s a fantastic place for a morning stroll if you have a few hours to spare. When you’re there keep an eye out for one of the market’s specialties; bags, clothing and other accessories made from delicate repurposed kimono fabric—the perfect Kyoto souvenir!
Address: 103 Tanaka Monzencho, Sakyo-ku, Kyoto
Tenjin-san Flea (Kyoto)
Featuring around 1,000 stalls lined up along the entrance to Kitano Tenmangu Shrine, the Tenjin-san Flea—which runs on the 25th of each month—is a haven for antique bargain hunters. Ideal for those looking to pick up a one of a kind kimono or yukata, the market is particularly famous for its large collection of vintage clothing stalls selling traditional and more contemporary garments. If you get tired trying on the countless stylish items on display, the market is also home to a number of food and beverage stalls, perfect for those wanting to stop and take a break.
Address: Bakurocho, Kamigyo Ward, Kyoto
Senda Wasshoi Matsuri Flea Market (Hiroshima)
Running regularly from early morning to late afternoon in Higashi-Senda Park, the Senda Wasshoi Matsuri Flea Market is one of the most popular markets in Hiroshima. Almost more a festival event than a market, here you’ll find not only vendor selling collectibles, but also food stalls and live entertainment. For information on the next event, or to sign up to sell your own wares (anyone is welcome) visit the market’s website.
Address: 1-1 Senda-machi, Naka-ku Hiroshima