Antique and flea markets are held at several locations around Tokyo; they are great places to find anything from junk and old photos to Samurai helmets and wedding kimonos. Or just browse and soak up the market atmosphere…
An article by Alfie Goodrich for Japanorama.co.uk
Days, weeks and probably – if I added the time up – months of my young life in England were spent trawling around second-hand and antique markets with my parents. Now, it seems, here in Japan the equivalent ‘flea market’ has shifted from something students and young people frequent and entered the mainstream. My first experience of a Japanese flea-market was that held in the car-park of the Nihon-Senenkan Hotel near the Olympic Stadium in Sendagaya [see the Meiji Park market details below, it's the same one]. I was staying there with my wife as her brother is the hotel’s manager. The market was a relatively small-scale market at that time, in Christmas 2000. Maybe only 50 0r 60 stalls and frequented it seemed mostly by people well under the age of 30. Since then a whole rash of similar markets have sprung up all over the city, most very well organized – naturally – and large, with the bigger ones featuring five or six-hundred ’stalls’.
This is all good news as far as we here at Japanorama are concerned. After the experience of having parents die recently, then selling their house, then moving from the UK to Japan we know all about the charity shop, boot sales and even had four sales in our house and garden before leaving. The proceeds paid for more than half the airfares for two adults and two kids to come from London to Tokyo and the whole experience was reasonably good fun too.
Organized community recycling schemes are behind some markets, the most active of which seems to be the CITIZENS RECYCLING SOCIETY (Risaikuru-Undo Shiminno-kai), based in Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo. If you want to get hold of them you can get them on TEL: 03-3266-6800 FAX: 03-5379-1510.
Families and housewives getting stuck in…
Whatever the impetus, be it an increased awareness of the need to re-use and recycle, people feeling the economic pinch and needing a bit of extra cash. Or simply the economies of living space in the average Japanese home, families are now selling their unwanted stuff and housewives are out buying it.
As JapanToday and Kyodo News reported in a recent article on the flea-market phenomenon: A 35-year-old housewife visited the flea market near JR Shinagawa Station in mid-January to look for brand-name clothing for her 1-year-old son. She said she often visits the market but sets a budget of 1,000 yen per item.
She said she has exceeded her budget in the past when haggling with a seller over the price of a special item.
“The knack for getting the things you want is to go around the place one more time because almost all the stalls lower prices in the afternoon,” she said smiling.
A 41-year-old man from Shinagawa Ward spread out about 100 items of secondhand clothing, including sweaters and jeans.
“Six of us, including my wife and friends, came here to sell items we think it would be ‘mottainai’ to throw away just because we don’t wear them anymore,” the company employee said. “Mottainai” is a Japanese word that means a few things, including “waste”, but which some interpret as encapsulating the three R’s of reduce, re-use and recycle.
Where are the main Tokyo flea-markets?
There are a bunch of great flea-markets across Tokyo. Here are some we are aware of but do drop us a line if you know of others. The schedule for these things is relatively fixed and there are details for some below. But, for exact details you should do one of the following:
- Check a copy of the listings section in Metropolis, the free English language magazine available in a lot of spots all over Tokyo. A list of where you can find a copy is here.
- Check the Paper Lantern website’s calendar.
- Take a look at this page of the Japan National Tourist Organization’s website
- Contact the CITIZENS RECYCLING SOCIETY (Risaikuru-Undo Shiminno-kai), based in Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo. TEL: 03-3266-6800 FAX: 03-5379-1510.
In Tokyo, you should be able to find a few flea markets every weekend. Three major ones are held at Meiji Park with about 600 merchants, Shinjuku Chuo Park with about 250, Yoyogi Park with more than 800, and at Oi horse race track.
Tokyo Area Flea Markets
O-i Keibajo Flea Market (O-i race track) in No.1 Parking area
Flea Market Location: 2-1-2 Katsushima Shinagawa-ku Tokyo
Number of shops: 600
Access to Flea Market : About a 3 min walk from O-i Keibajo station (two stops on Monorail train from Hamamatsu-cho station), a 10 min walk from Ekaigawa station (Keihin Kyu-ko line).
Flea Market Description: Not to mention very popular, the biggest representative fleamarket in Tokyo which you make most finds you want! There are about 600 shops altogether! It is held even if there is light rain. Held about twice or three times a month. *hosted by tokyo citizens recycling society(Tokyo Risaikuru-Undo Shiminno-kai)
Meiji Park Flea Market
Flea Market Location: Kasumigaoka-machi Shinjuku-ku Tokyo
Number of shops: approx. 600
Flea Market Description: Big, popular and good flea market for a wide range of ages, almost anything is available! There are about 600 shops altogether. Held twice a month. Come up by train not car because there is no parking area. It’s not held if it rains.
Access toFlea Market : 7 minutes walk from Sendagaya station(JR line), next to Nihon Seinen-kan.
Tokyo Dome Jumbo Flea Market (Tokyo Dome City / Prism Hall)
Flea Market Location: Tokyo Dome city, 1-3-61 Kouraku, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo
Number of shops: 300 Access: Near the East exit of Suido-bashi station(JR line), A2 exit of Suido-bashi station(Toei-Mita line), the A1 exit of Kasuga station(O-edo line), No.1, 2 exit of Korakuen station(Nanboku, Marunouchi lines). Tokyo Dome is mainly used for base ball games and the biggest concert venue in Japan.
Access to Flea Market : Near the East exit of Suido-bashi station(JR line), A2 exit of Suido-bashi station(Toei-Mita line), the A1 exit of Kasuga station(O-edo line), No.1, 2 exit of Korakuen station(Nanboku, Marunouchi lines).
Map | Prism Hall in Tokyo Dome |
Yoyogi Park Flea Market (Shibuya Koendori Fes)
Flea Market Location: 2 Jinnan Yoyogi-Kamizonocho Shibuya-ku Tokyo
Number of shops: 800
Access to Flea Market : 5 minute walk from Harajuku station (JR Yamanote line or 6-7 minute walk from Meiji jingu-mae station(Chiyoda line), 10 minute walk from Shibuya station. Next to NHK hall.
Flea Market Description: This well known, big, always-crowded monthly-held fleamarket was first held in 1981 called ‘free market’, became a beginning of fleamarket in Japan.
Mainly fashion items for the young are sold such as casual wear, sneakers, fashion bags, Popular famous brand items.
Ariake Rinkai Fukutohsin Jambo FM
Flea Market Location: Aomi Nishi(West) Temporal car park area (diagonally in front of Palette Town), 1 Aomi, Koto-ku Tokyo
Number of shops: approx. 300
Admission charge: JPY300 Access:5 min. walk from Aomi station(New Transit Yurikamome line),8 min.walk from Tokyo Teleport station(Rinkai Fukutoshin line)
Shinjuku Nomura Building
Flea Market Location: Shinjuku Nomura Building, 1-26-2 Nishi-Shinjuku, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo
Number of shops: 300
Access to Flea Market : a 5 minutes walk from West Exit of JR Shinjuku station, a 3 min. walk from Nishi-Shinjuku station(Subway Marunouchi line). It is along Oume Kaido(St.), across from Shinjuku Police station.
Flea Market Description: Popular and typical flea market in Tokyo for a wide range of ages, items such as household stuff, collectable watches, cameras, guitars, American old household items,
vintage clothes, sneakers etc. About 300 shops, Convenience stores, eating places for a break. There is also a toll car park and clean toilets!
Shinjuku Central park (Shinjuku Chu-o Kouen)
Flea Market Location: Shinjuku CentralPark(Shinjuku Chu-oh Ko-en), Nishi-Shinjuku 2-11, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo
Number of shops: approx. 150 Access: A min. walk from Tocho-mae station(Subway Toei Oedo line), A 10 minutes walk from JR Shinjuku station, a 15 min. walk from Seibu Shinjuku station(Seibu Shinjuku line).
Flea Market Description: Right in the back of the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building. It is held around Mizuno-Hiroa (water place). Fleamarket in an ” oasis ” in the skyscrapers towering over this city. Held in the water place with a small water fall. No professional stalls. Household utencils/wastes, vintage/second hand clothing, kids’s clothing are sold.
Ajinomoto Stadium(ex Tokyo Stadium) Flea market
Flea Market Location: Ajinomoto Stadium, 376-3 Nishi-cho, Chofu-shi, Toky/span>
Number of shops: 800
Admission charge: JPY300 from 10:00am- (JPY1,000 for the entrance from 8:00am-before 10:00am)
Access to Flea Market : A 5 min.walk from Tobitakyu station(Keio line), A 20 min walk from Tama-Bochi Mae station(Seibu Tamagawa line).
Flea Market Description: Almost the biggest regular-held fleamarket in Japan! 800 stalls altogether in the stadium from organic vegetables, handcrafts, clothing, etc.
Asakusa Sumida Park
Flea Market Location: Sumida Park, Hanakawado2, Taito-ku, Tokyo
Number of shops: approx. 100
Access to Flea Market : Near Asakusa station(Ginza, JR Tobu lines). Next to the water-bus station on the lefthand of Azuma bashi bridge.
Flea Market Description: Fleamarket with fine, scenic views on the Asakusa sightseeing route. Enjoy sightseeing of Japanese old town, Asakusa. Senso-ji Temple, Nakamise shopping mall, houseboats Sumida river.
Shinagawa Inter City Flea Market
Flea Market Location: Shinagawa InterCity, Kounan2-15-2, Minato-ku, Tokyo
Number of shops: approx. 120
Access to Flea Market : Being Led directly from the South Exsit of Shinagawa station(JR lines).
Tall tower Shinagawa InterCity, near JR Shinagawa station which is bullet train Shinkansen stops.
Flea Market Description: It’s held if it’s rain. Cafes, fast food shops are found on the same floor with clean toilet! Toll car park is also available( JPY300/30min., Free for 2 hrs when you shop/eat for JPY2,000 and more in this building).
Sumitomo 3M Flea Market in Youga
Flea Market Location: Tama Doubutsu Koen station(Keio line)
Number of shops: about 150 Access: Youga station(Subway Shin-Tamagawa line). Go toward #8 ringway “Kanjo Hachi-go Sen” along the Tomei Kousoku express way. Next to Restaurant “Denny’s” at the cross-point of the express way. Held in front of The Sumitomo 3M building and the car park.
Flea Market Description: Items sold are most often quality, newer than other flea markets. Clothing, household utensils, bags and watches etc.
Nakano Sakaue Pao Flea Market
Location: Nakano Sakaue Pao, Honcho2-46-1, Nakanoku, Tokyo
Number of shops: about 200
Access to Flea Market : lose to Nakano Sakaue station(Subway Marunouchi, O-edo lines).
Description: Held in the Nakano-word residential neighborhood, right in front of Nakano Sakaue station. The goers are relatively female. Items are mainly clothing for women, jeans, sneakers, fashion bland items. There are convenience stores, cafes and restaurants available in the building.
Yokohama Area Flea Markets
Flea Market Location: Yokohama Arena, Shin-Yokohama 3-10, Kohoku-ku, Yokohama-shi, Kanagawa-ken
Number of shops: approx.400
Access to Flea Market : A 5 minutes walk from Shin-Yokohama station ( JR Yokohama, Yokohama shiei Chikatetsu subway lines, Tokaido-Shinkansen line).
Flea Market Description: Big fleamarket at Yokohama Areana in Shin-Yokohama.
Yokohama Marine Tower Sunday Market
Flea Market Location: Marine Tower, 15 Yamashita-cho, Naka-ku, Yokohama-shi, Kanagawa-ken
Number of shops: approx.40
Access to Flea Market : About 5 min walk from Motomachi-Chukagai station(Minatomirai line), 15 minutes walk from Kannai station ( JR Negishi, Yokohama shiei Chikatetsu subway lines).
Flea Market Description: Marine Tower is a106-meter high and one of the tallest inland lighthouse in the world with a streaching view of Yamashita park and Port of Yokohama in right front of it.
Minato Mirai21 Flea Market at Nippon-maru Memorial Park
Flea Market Location: Nippon-maru Memorial Park, Minato Mirai2-1-1, Nishi-ku, Yokohama-shi, Kanagawa-ken
Number of shops: approx. 300
Access to Flea Market : 7 minute walk from Sakuragicho staion(JR Negishi, Shiei Chikatetsu lines), 5min.walk from Minato Mirai station(Minato Mirai line). Go to the MM21 side.
Flea Market Description: Held in the space around symbol of Yokohama port town, craft Nippon-Maru which used to be a training ship sailed 1.83 million km. It’s very convenient location, MinatoMirai shopping area with a good view of Yokohama bay spreading in front of it.
Yokohama International Stadium Flea Market
Flea Market Location: Yokohama International Stadium, Kozukue-cho 3300, Kouhoku-ku, Yokohama-shi, Kanagawa-ken
Number of shops: approx. 300
Access to Flea Market: 15 minute walk from Shin-Yokohama staion (JR Yokohama Shiei Chikatetsu lines), A 5 minute walk from Kozukue station. (JR Yokohama line)
Flea Market Description: The final game of the world cup 2002 was taken place here! Held irregulerly.
Indoor Furima Minatomirai Fleamarket at Pacifico Yokohama Exhibition Hall D
Yokohama Bayside fleamarket at Pacifico Yokohama Exhibition Hall D
Flea Market Location: Minato-Mirai 1-1-1, Nishi-ku, Yokohama-shi, Kanagawa-ken
Number of shops: approx.400
Admission charge: JPY200
Access to Flea Market : A 5 min walk from Minatomirai station(Minatomirai line), 10 min walk from Sakuragicho station (Tokyu Toyoko, JR Negishi, Yokohama shiei Chikatetsu subway lines).
Flea Market Description: Big, Held in this round-shaped Pacifico Yokohama on the waterfront. Held if it’s rain.
Map | Pacifico Yokohama
Good market for women’s clothing.
Train Market (Densha de furima)
Location: Tama Doubutsu Koen station(Keio line)
Time: 10:00-16:00 [Held the 2nd Sunday of every month]
Access: Held in the platform of Tama-Doubutsu Koen (Keio line), the square in front of the station and on a train! It will not be held if it rains.
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More information on Flea Markets in Japan (日本のフリー マーケット)