A cheapo’s paradise, Tokyo flea markets are awesome places for bargain-hunting. And there’s no shortage of them—you’ll find something happening in one of the parks or parking lots just about every Saturday and Sunday, as well as some public holidays, throughout the year.
You can fork out wads of cash for fancy souvenirs at soulless stores, or you can riffle through the stalls at one of these flea markets and find all sorts of awesome (and original) things for a fraction of the price. Keen on a previously loved kimono for just ¥1,000? How about an antique tea ceremony bowl? Secondhand fashion (still seasons ahead of much of the rest of the world) for a few hundred yen? You can also find CDs and DVDs, books, vinyls, coffee presses, random military stuff and much, much more. #cheapowinning
Here, in no particular order, is our pick of top Tokyo flea markets to explore for mind-blowing bargains and good fun. Note: the smaller markets can be a bit hit and miss—buzzing one month, dead the next. Also, this post is peppered with cheapo tips—keep an eye out for them!
- Ohi Racecourse Flea Market
- Mottainai Flea Market
- Shinjuku Central Park Flea Market
- Heiwajima Antiques Fair
- Yoyogi Park Markets
- Shinagawa Intercity
- “The Best Flea Market”
- Yasukuni Shrine Flea Market
- Ajinomoto Stadium BIG Flea Market
- Tokyo Dome Jumbo Flea Market
- Machida Tenmangu Antique Fair
- Kawaii Flea Market
- Tokyo Romantic Market
- Raw Tokyo
- Engawa Market
- Fetish Corner
- Mega Clothes Swap
- Handy Resources and Tips
1. Ohi Racecourse Flea Market
Also known as the Tokyo City Flea Market, the Ohi Racecourse Flea Market is one of the biggest and most popular markets, with 300-600 vendors. Unlike a lot of the other Tokyo flea markets, it has a regular schedule. See the video below for what to expect.
Cheapo tip: Say “Ikura desu ka?” when you want to ask how much something is. If that’s the extent of your Japanese, smile and nod when they rattle off a reply in the vernacular.
2. Mottainai Flea Market
A cool little flea market with a focus on secondhand clothes. The organizers hope to reduce wastefulness (mottainai) through their event and run it as part of a larger program to promote sustainability. You can sometimes find books, CDs and DVDs. Note: if you’re looking to offload some clothes of your own, you can do that at some of the venues—read our article on clothes recycling in Tokyo for more on that mission.
Cheapo tip: Say “Chotto takai desu ne” when you want to say, “It’s a bit expensive.”
3. Shinjuku Chuo Park Flea Market
This centrally-located Tokyo flea market has around 200 vendors and a reputation for “vintage” stuff like antiques, previously-loved household items and other things considered old and interesting. In between browsing the stalls, you can nip up to the top of the Tocho Buildings to see the (free!) view over Tokyo.
Cheapo tip: Say “Yasuku naranai?“ when you want to say, “Won’t you make it a bit cheaper?” Don’t expect too much, though; Japan isn’t exactly a hub of hardcore haggling.
4. Heiwajima “Antiques Fair”
Advertised (by the organizers) as being the oldest and most famous antique fair in Japan. 280 dealers. Held five times a year. They don’t just sell antiques—you can find much of the same kind of stuff as you would at regular Tokyo flea markets.
Cheapo tip: Say “Ni-ko kattara, waribiki arimasu ka?“ when you want to say, “If I buy two, is there a discount?”
5. Yoyogi Park Flea Market(s)
Yoyogi was long home to one of Tokyo’s oldest and most hipster-ish monthly flea markets. 800 vendors, all peddling secondhand goods—with lots of recycled fashion. But the schedule has become rather erratic and the scale smaller. You can always risk just dropping by the park of a Sunday to see what you find, though.
Yoyogi Park also hosts the Earth Day Market once a month or so (this is more reliable), where you can get organic produce, Fairtrade goods, tasty meals and handmade crafts. That’s usually on a Sunday, 10am-4pm.
6. Shinagawa Intercity Flea Market
This popular flea market can be found in and around the Intercity complex near Shinagawa Station most Sundays of the year. It’s easy to access, chock-full of everything from used clothing to kitchen utensils and electronics, partly sheltered in case of inclement weather, and surrounded by a slew of restaurants. Check out the Shinatatsu Ramen Street while you’re in the area.
Cheapo tip: Say “Ni hyaku en, dou desu ka?“ when you want to say, “How about two hundred yen?”
7. The “Best Flea Market” (Yurakucho)
This market may not 100% live up to its name, but it’s well worth a visit nonetheless (it’s also sometimes just called the Tokyo International Forum Flea Market). You can expect over 200 vendors, flogging a range of goods as diverse as antiques and home arts and crafts. If it happens, that is—the schedule has become rather, well, non-existent.
Cheapo tip: Say “Kore kudasai” when you want to say, “I’ll take this one.”
8. Yasukuni Shrine Flea Market
You may have heard of the small flea market held in the grounds of the controversial Yasukuni Shrine (that’s the one where some of Japan’s war criminals are enshrined). Choice of venue aside, the market is known as a good spot to find pottery and antiques. However, it is currently on hiatus; the market is expected to start up again in 2020. In the meantime, you can learn more about the history of the shrine and explore the nearby Imperial Gardens on a DIY walking tour.
Where: Yasukuni Shrine (five minutes from Kudanshita Station).
When: From 2020.
9. Ajinomoto Stadium BIG Flea Market
This is indeed a big one, and a goodie too! Expect close to 800 (yep, you read that right) stalls, selling everything from fresh organic veggies to handcrafts, previously-loved attire, toys and antiques. There’s a ¥300 entrance fee (¥1,000 for early-bird admission at 8am), but if you make even one purchase, it’s worth it.
Cheapo tip: Say “Kibishii desune“ when you want to say, “You’re tough/strict” (you drive a hard bargain—say it with a smile!).
10. Tokyo Dome “Jumbo” Flea Market
A large indoor flea market featuring around 300 vendors. The schedule seems to have become somewhat erratic, but have a peek and pop by if it’s on when you’re in the mood for some shopping. It is a bit hard to tell what you will find here—anything really, ranging from used clothes and household goods (always) to more unusual items. You can make a day of it at Tokyo Dome, which is an entertainment complex with rides, restaurants, sporting events and all sorts of family stuff.
Where: Tokyo Dome City Prism Hall, near Korakuen Station.
When: One or two weekends a month, several times a year. 10am-4pm.
11. Machida Tenmangu Garakuta Kotto-ichi Market (Antique Fair)
A small-ish open-air flea market with 120 or so vendors. Vibey and popular, this is a good one to visit if you’re a fan of Japanese antiques. Expect vintage kimono, tableware, furniture and decor from decades past. The market is held in the grounds of a shrine, which is popular among students seeking a spot of divine intervention in their exams.
Cheapo tip: Say “Okane ga tarinai!“ and look sad when you want to say, “I don’t have enough money!”
12. Kawaii Flea Market
Translating to the “cute” flea market, this one is apparently aimed at women, with clothing, handmade and second-hand kawaii stuff, and antiques on sale. Expect anywhere from 120 to 200 vendors. Most of the Kawaii markets are held in Nakano and Ikebukuro.
Cheapo tip: Say “Chotto kangaemasu” when you want to say, “I’ll think about it.”
13. Tokyo Romantic Market
Held once a month on a Sunday, this flea market has around 100 stalls featuring Asian, Western and other “antiques and vintages”, as well as “handicrafts, fine art, folk art, folk tools, organic foods, flowers and more”. Worth dropping by if you’re in Shibuya when it’s on.
14. Raw Tokyo
A super-rad farmers market that also features vintage clothes, crafts and other goods that scream “take me home with you!”. This event is an addition to the UNU Farmer’s Market, so you can get the best of both worlds.
15. Engawa Flea Market
A little monthly market with delicious things to eat. While you’ll always find the usual flea market items for sale, the main attractions on good days are the farm-fresh vegetables, craft coffee and other offerings from the food stalls—if they are there, that is! This market can be extremely quiet, particularly in the summer months, when there may be one yakisoba stand and a handful of people selling finds from the attic on tarps. It seems to be put on by the local neighborhood association, who are a really friendly bunch that staff the yakisoba stand.
Where: Ikebukuro Daini Park, next to the public library.
When: Usually every second Sunday of the month.
16. Tokyo Fetish Flea Market
If you are into fetish fashion, a goth queen or just want to outdo yourself on your next Halloween costume, you’ll be pleased to hear that Tokyo has a fetish flea market (of sorts). It is put on by a store in Harajuku called ForYourPleasure, and can best be described as a flea market corner with good deals on high-end secondhand fetish wear like leather and latex attire, accessories and other products. If you’re wanting to sell something, you can offer your goods here and the store will simply take a 30% cut of your profit.
Where: ForYourPleasure, 4-25-10 Jingumae, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo. Five minutes from Omotesando Station.
When: Every couple of months on a Saturday and Sunday, from 1pm-9pm. Check the store’s website for details.
17. Tokyo Mega Clothes Swap
Two Tokyo residents put on a mega clothes swap once per season, in collaboration with retailer H&M. The event always takes place at the lounge of Oakwood Midtown, a serviced residence in the Midtown Building in Roppongi. The swap originally started out for women only, but now also has a men’s and kid’s corner as it has steadily grown to 70+ participants.
While technically not a flea market, it follows the same principle of trying to create less waste, reuse and recycle. Participants can bring their unwanted clothes and take as many items in return as they want. Even those who bring nothing to swap are allowed to participate and sift through the piles of clothes for treasures. The event has a ¥2,000 participation fee, but you get two free drinks and free-for-all on the goods in return. The money is collected for charity. There are usually also short talks on topics like conscious consumption and sustainability.
Where: Oakwood Premier in the Midtown Building, connected to Roppongi Station.
When: On a Saturday from 2pm-5pm, once every three months. Check the website for details and sign up to the newsletter to get alerts for the next one.
What happened to the Shinjuku Mitsui Building Flea Market?
Many hapless cheapos search for the famed Shinjuku Nomura Building Flea Market, but it seems to have stopped operating back in 2005. Sadly, its successor, the Shinjuku Mitsui Building Flea Market, also wrapped up in mid-March, 2019.
Handy resources and tips on Tokyo flea markets
Here’s a schedule for all sorts of flea markets in the Tokyo and Saitama areas. It’s in Japanese, but is super useful to bookmark and auto-translate. TRX (Tokyo Recycle) is another big site with great maps, calendars, and details on each market (also in Japanese). This small flea markets site has a few different listings, and here’s a good resource for local flea markets with a focus on antiques.
If you’re into all things old, check out our Guide to Japanese Souvenir Antiques to see what’s on offer at some of the markets (as well as where else you can go for bargain finds). And if you’re around in December-January, don’t miss the Setagaya Boroichi—a designated cultural asset and a flea market that’s been going strong for over 400 years!
Note: If the weather is iffy, Tokyo flea markets often get canceled—unless they are under cover or indoors (for example, the Ohi Racecourse Flea Market is outdoors but under cover, and continues in the event of light rain). Many of the outdoor Tokyo flea markets are pretty dead during the summer months (especially July and August) due to the sometimes unbearable heat and humidity. While they don’t necessary get canceled, it might just be one or two lonely vendors sticking it out. Also, with flea markets, things start early and many vendors call it a day around lunchtime and start packing up, even though the market is still officially open, so get there early!
This post is regularly updated. Last update by Carey Finn in August, 2019. Thanks to Mareike Dornhege for her assistance.
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