Cheapo Weekend for December 15/16: Winter Festivals & Markets

Greg Lane

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

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

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.


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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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3 Responses to “Cheapo Weekend for December 15/16: Winter Festivals & Markets”

  1. Thank you so much for this. I’ve just come back from a lovely time strolling around the market with a cup of hot sake in my hand! I bought a beautiful obi and some fresh salmon which I’m about to cook. It’s such a great place to go and feel ‘Japanese’.

    • CheapoGreg

      That’s great to hear! Was that the Boroichi? I couldn’t make it down there so I’ll have to check it out when it comes around again in January.

  2. Thanks, Greg for this post. I went there with my friends yesterday. Good timing for holiday’s shopping. We had a lot of fun. It’s also fun to take local train too. Feel like i was in the cartoon train. haha The market is super crowded though. It is interesting experience tried to get into some booths with all the japanese customers. They are very much into this shopping! Thanks again.


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