Feels special : Tenjin-san market, Kyoto, Japan

I had read about Japanese flea markets, or as they’re often called, “temple markets” and absolutely wanted to visit one during our stay. This turned out to be quite a challenge! While there are quite a lot of them, they’re generally held on Sundays, and most of the time only once a month, which did lot left a lot of options with our schedule. The only window was on our arrival day in Kyoto, and we would have to change our train to try and arrive before the market closed down. Since I had set my mind on it (market obsession and all), we did take an earlier train, left our bags somewhere and took a taxi to what seemed like the other side of town. We got there in the middle of the afternoon wich left us something like an hour before the sellers started to pack away their treasures.

And what treasures!

Mountains of traditional fabrics, kimonos and ceramics, all carefully folded (yes, Japanese flea markets are as tidy as you can imagine). I couldn’t believe my eyes. I could have bought piles of things, but this was the end of trip and our luggage were already very, very full. I settled for taking pictures instead, which seemed more reasonable!

On the images below you can see how, as the time to pack up came,  everything was beautifully wrapped in fabrics (furoshiki style!), folded into patterned boxes, wooden crates and wicker baskets. Enough to get me in some kind of crazy awe!

The Tenjin-san market is hold on the 25th of each month at Kitano Tenman-gū shrine. There are a thousand stands there, including food ones if you’re planning of making it a day-trip.
I found the market to be quite affordable, with kimonos being around ¥3000-¥5000 ($30-$50) and ¥100 ($1)  bargains here and there.
Find out if there’s a market when you’re going to Japan on JNTO or Japanese streets
Remember the Saint-Ouen flea market


  • Reply August 8, 2014


    wow – i didn’t even know these existed! Sad I missed them during my trip to Kyoto.


  • […] I could obviously go on for a long time about that unmistakably Japanese trait of carefully nurturing imperfection. In Kyoto I found it as much in the worn-out silk of a prayer cushion as in the speckled stone of a tomb or in the gracious arrangements witnessed at the Tenji-San market. […]

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