The 13 Best Kyoto Flea Markets
Up for a treasure hunt? Find your favorite flea market in Kyoto here with us!
Kyoto’s flea markets are set up on the grounds of temples, shrines and parks, making a treasure hunt synonymous with relaxing strolls through breathtaking surroundings. Most markets are held on a fixed date every month. There’s at least one per week, and thus a stay in Kyoto of more than a few days should present an opportunity to visit one.
Usually, the markets tend to be open longer in the evenings if the weather is better (in summer) and close earlier in winter. And, as a quick piece of advice, don’t forget to bring enough 1000 yen bills and coins. This will make sure you can instantly get a hold of the treasures you’ve found.
Kobo-san Flea Market (at To-ji Temple)
The Kobo-san Market is held on the 21st of each month, at the To-ji Temple – a UNESCO World Heritage site. It’s one of the most popular and largest flea markets in town and guarantees to get you in a lively mood. On sale are pottery, antiques, clothes, cheap kimonos, fans, crafts, and more. There’s really not much you won’t find here, including fantastic food stands.
The crowds at Kobo-san can get huge so that a simple stroll through is sometimes easier said than done. But if you’re in no hurry, just go with the flow and enjoy the people-watching-opportunity. Another peculiarity of this market is that it’s one of few flea markets in Japan where bargaining is quite common, especially in the later afternoon when the stands start packing up.
If it’s mainly antiques that get you going, consider coming to To-ji Temple on the first Sunday of the month, when a smaller scaled market specializing in only antiques is held.
The temple can be reached by walking 2 minutes from To-ji Station, or 12 minutes from Kyoto Station.
When: 21st of each month Where: To-ji Temple Hours: 8:00 - 16:30
Tenjin-san Flea Market (at Kitano Tenmangu Shrine)
Similar in size and style to the Kobo-san Market, the Tenjin-san Market is set up at Kitano Tenmangu Shrine in the city’s north on the 25th every month. Mainly second-hand clothes, fabrics and antiques are sold here, but spend some time and you’ll find all kinds of other things as well. Meanwhile, street food stalls will keep your belly happy.
The gardens’ beautiful plum trees surrounding the shrine display their wonderful blossoms to anyone visiting in spring.
When: 25th of each month Where: Kitano Tenmangu Shrine Hours: 8:00 - 17:00
Tezukuri-Ichi (Handicraft Flea Market)
Smaller than the two major markets mentioned above, but a worthwhile visit all the same: Tezukuri-Ichi market at Hyakumanben Chion-ji Temple. Find glassware, pottery, jewelry, broaches and many other kinds of goods, all crafted by local artists.
When: 15th of each month Where: Hyakumanben Chion-ji Temple Hours: 8:00 - 16:00
Okazaki Flea Market (previously at Kyoto City Hall)
Until 2016, the area in front of the Kyoto City Hall was regularly turned into a flea market. Now that the building is being renovated, the market has moved over to Okazaki Park. It was set up to promote garbage reduction and a more recycling behavior in everyday life. Considering this, trading and reusing things makes even more sense.
Find Kimonos, clothing, and ceramics, as well as other used objects, all at bargain prices.
When: List of Dates (Organizer's Website), use Google Translate Where: Okazaki Park Hours: 10:00 - 15:30
Toyokuni Shrine Flea Market
The monthly flea market at Toyokuni Shrine is a small market where local products are sold. After 20-30 minutes, you’ll have probably gone through it all, but there’s always that one special thing waiting somewhere for you to be found. Also, the beautiful shrine here is certainly worth a visit of its own as well.
The flea market is on the 18th of each month, but there’s also an antiques and fabrics market on the 8th and a handicrafts market on the 28th.
When: 18th of each month Where: Toyokuni Jinja Shrine Hours: 10:00 - 15:00
Myoren-ji Temple Flea Market
Pottery, kimonos and antiques are sold at the flea market at Myoren-ji Temple on the 12th of every month. And once you’re there, don’t miss the chance to see the tample’s famous karesansui, a carefully maintained Zen Buddhist rock garden.
When: 12th of each month Where: Myoren-ji Temple Hours: 9:00 - 17:00
Kennin-ji Temple Flea Market
Every second Sunday, the Kennin-ji Temple grounds in the city’s east turn into a small marketplace. Handicrafts and art are what it has specialized in.
When: every second Sunday of each month Where: Kennin-ji Temple Hours: 10:00 - 16:00
Komachi Handmade City (at Zuishin-in Temple)
There are all kinds of things sold here, from small plants to vegetables and lots of handmade accessories and goods. In between stands, take a break to taste some of the local coffees and sweets, offered throughout the site. When visiting in spring, the blooming plum trees create a scenic setting to your treasure hunting.
Get there in a three-minute walk from Ono Station.
When: first Sunday each month Where: Zuishin-in Temple Hours: 8:30 - 16:00
Heian Raku Ichi Market
The Market at the Heian Shrine next to Okazaki Park is colorful and lively, and the goods sold here are handmade. On top of that, there’s usually live music on stage in front of cherry trees. It can’t get much more idyllic than that!
A 10-minute walk from Higashiyama Station gets you to it.
When: 2nd Saturday each month Where: Heian Shrine Hours: 10:00 - 16:00
Mori no Tedukuri Market
The primeval forest surrounding Shimogamo Shrine takes visitors to a mysterious place that’s paradise for daydreamers. Here, always for two consecutive days, stands are set up to sell woodwork goods, leather, pottery, accessories, clothes. All of this comes with fantastic food stands and live music for you to enjoy.
Unfortunately, the market is only held two to three times per year, so don’t miss your chance!
When: July 8th-9th 2017, for more dates: Official Website Where: Shimogamo Shrine Hours: 10:00 - 16:00
Mononoke Ichi Market
Dedicated to so-called youkai art (spirits, demons in Japanese folklore), monsters of all kinds are what fascinates organizers and visitors of the Mononoke flea market. Find scary masks, dolls, illustrations, postcards, skull mugs and more. Sake and cider bottles with original label designs (of monsters, of course) make great gifts.
When: irregular, check schedule on their website Where: Daishogunhachi Shrine Hours: 10:00 - 17:00
Kitayama Craft Garden
In an area which houses several cultural institutions, such as the Kyoto Concert Hall and the Botanical garden, another handicraft market is held regularly. It’s set up once a month on the modern-looking premises of the Garden of Fine Arts. Join the locals who bustle at Kitayama Craft Garden – a flea market that puts a focus on art and crafts.
When: 1st Sunday each month (except January and October) Where: Kyoto Garden of Fine Arts Hours: 10:00 - 16:00
Omoshiro Market (at Toyokuni Shrine)
Last but not least, a comparably small flea market: the Omoshiro market at Toyokuni Shrine. Find antiques like jewelry, books, folk art and toys, as well as secondhand kimonos.
When: 8th of each month Where: Toyokuni Shrine Hours: 10:00 - 15:00
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