Do you have a soft spot for antiques or anything with a deep history? If you’re a fan of looking for unexpected treasures, visit the Antique Market at Takahata Fudoson Temple in Hino city, about 30 minutes from central Tokyo.
Let’s first learn a little more about the temple. Takahata Fudoson Kongo-ji temple is one of the three major Fudoson temples in the Kanto region. The temple is said to have been built before the Taiho era (701-704) or to have founded by monk Zikaku (794-864). The temple has many designated cultural properties in its precincts and the five-storied pagoda and Fudo-do (hall) are particularly spectacular
Takahata Fudoson holds an antique market on the third Sunday of every month. The name of this market is “Gozare-ichi” (ござれ市). It has been held regularly since 1988. However, it may be cancelled temporarily due to the pandemic, so please confirm before you go.
The market usually starts at seven in the morning, and those who have a wishlist go early to search through and find the best items possible. There is a wide range of sellers in this antique market. You can find many things that will pique your curiosity.
Let’s check out a few stalls. Our first stop is a store that sells Kokeshi, handmade wooden dolls. Even though today many regions have their Kokeshi, this craft originated in the Tohoku region of Japan. Today you see many shapes and designs but the one below is still the most common.
Another kind is this short and stout one which is also quite cute.
One of the most fascinating things to look for is porcelain and ceramics. Japan has a long history of creating pottery. Each part of Japan has famous kilns influencing the style and characteristics of that region from Kutani-ware to Bizen-yaki. If you have a good eye, you may even find some tea bowls made by famous potters.
Those who like to drink tea must check out these iron kettles called tetsubin. Nambu ironware is particularly popular for tea kettles and make for excellent presents. You can also look for tea ceremony box sets!
As you walk around, your eye will catch all kinds of knickknacks. Some of these can be as cheap as 100 yen. Check out this wooden, lacquered mirror; imagine one of the ladies from Hokusai or Hiroshige’s woodblock prints looking into it and you are instantly transported to ancient times.
Very few of you must have seen leather suitcases that have stood the test of time.
Retro toys are another popular item. Ultraman, Kamen Rider, etc. are very popular as collectibles among foreigners.
This is just the tip of the iceberg, with 120 stalls there are many more desired objects to long for! From woodblock prints to kimono, there is will be something that fits your budget.
The streets around Takahata Fudosun Kongo-ji Temple are quaint and have a feel of Shitamachi (downtown).
After wandering around the market, stop by at one of the eateries in the area. This soba place was reasonably priced and absolutely delicious.
Hope you get a chance to check out this flea market on your next trip to Tokyo.
Details for the Market
Held on the third Sunday of each month (*temporarily cancelled due to the pandemic)
Nearest station: 3-min walk from Takahata Fudo Station on the Keio Line
Number of shops: about 120
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