Photo by Nemo’s Great Uncle – used under a Creative Commons license. | Photo by Nemo's Great Uncle used under CC

If you’re going to spend some time Christmas shopping this weekend, why not do it at one of Tokyo’s unique winter markets?

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Walking Tour: Meiji Jingu, Senso-ji and Harajuku
A walking tour that take you through multiple centuries of Japanese history, from the old Sensoji and Meiji shrines right up to the present day with the quirky and bleeding edge of Harajuku street fashion. Take in Japan's Buddhist and Shinto traditions, then shift gears and head in to one of Tokyo's most iconic shopping districts. Flexible duration 3 hrs, ...

The 434 year old Boroichi (rag market) takes place in Setagaya on both Saturday the 15th and Sunday the 16th. Boroichi is an enormous flea market at which more than 700 vendors sell a variety of used goods, antiques, handicrafts and food to approximately 200,000 visitors. Any cheapos looking to outfit their apartment, pick up an interesting Japanese knick knack or just take some interesting photos should definitely take a look at this market. The market will be running from 9am to 9pm with closing marked by exploding firecrackers. The market is located next to Kamimachi Station on the quaint, light rail Setagaya Line. If you miss this one, there is another Boroichi on the 15th and 16th of January.

For any Saitama cheapos out there, Kawaguchi Shrine (link in Japanese) will host a large festival and market on Saturday from 1pm to 10pm. The market, with hundreds of stallholders, is just a part of a larger festival that’s intended to bid an early farewell to the year past and wish for good fortune in the year ahead. The closest station is Kawaguchi on the JR Keihin-Tohoku Line.



If you don’t want to buy yet another piece of mass produced crap for Christmas this year, you need to go to the Happy Trade Xmas Market (link in Japanese) at Yoyogi Park on Sunday, December 16th. According to the organisers, there will be “many stalls selling Fairtrade goods and unique handmade crafts from around the world with lots of special gift ideas and opportunities to support good causes.” The market is run by Earth Day Market and will be running from 10am to 6pm in the Keyaki Namiki between Shibuya and the main part of the park. The closest station is Harajuku/Meijijingu-mae on the JR Yamanote Line and the Tokyo Metro Chiyoda and Fukutoshin Lines.

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