Jan. 11, 2018 UPDATE
Winter in Kyoto is cold but actually great for sightseeing!
Kyoto’s flea markets so exciting you have to visit them even in winter!
Besides the many shrines and temples of Kyoto, there are also many flea markets that take place here, many of them at these holy places. Some of them take place every month, and at many of them, you can also buy handicrafts and earthenware, even things to eat. It’s easy to buy too much at these flea markets, as the prices are often low, and you can find some really great bargains. So let’s put on some warm clothes, and go see which flea markets are the best in Kyoto!
HyakumanbenHyakumanben handicrafts market takes place at Chion-ji Temple every 15th of the month. The name of the temple comes from a story from the year 1331 when there were many deceases running rampant in Kyoto. A monk at Chion-ji prayed for a million times, and the deceases were no more, and thus the emperor gave Chion-ji Temple the name of Hyakumanben, one million times.
There are 450 stalls every month at the market, but the most popular ones sell baked goods, and the most popular products just fly off the tables. Because there are many handicrafts sold at this market it’s very popular among women. You can also get a lot of interesting tableware at the market too!
Toj-ji Kobo MarketToji Temple is, of course, famous for its Five Storied Pagoda, but every month on the 21st there is a flea market known as Kobo Market held at the temple. This market specializes in antiques and gets its name from the monk who started To-ji Temple, Kukai, who is posthumously known as Kobo-Daishi. He died on 21, so the market is also held on the 21st of every month. Kobo Market is said to be the oldest market in Kyoto.
You can find many bargains here, especially antiques, but also kimonos and even old Japanese records. There are also many food stalls selling street food!
Tenjin-sanThis flea market takes place at Kitano Tenmangu Shrine, a shrine dedicated to the god of learning Sugawara no Michizane. Because Sugawara no Michizane was born and died on the 25th (according to the Japanese calendar) the market also takes place on the 25th of every month. The first market of the year in January and the last one in December are especially big and popular.
Most of the things here are antiques or used, and pieces of cloth and kimonos are one of the most popular items on sale. You can buy a great kimono for cheap here, so if you want to buy a kimono keep this market in mind. In winter this market is a great place to warm up in the middle of the crowd!
There are many interesting markets in Kyoto, and you can buy many things cheaply. And not to forget the food stalls that sell many hot things for you to enjoy on a cold day, so you won’t have to fear the cold. You will love Kyoto even more after you have gone to these flea markets!
After the autumn leaves ends, and winter comes to Kyoto, the number of tourists also goes down. Even though the winter in Kyoto is very cold, but if you wear enough clothes, and enjoy some warming cuisine, you can still enjoy sightseeing in Kyoto (without the crowds!). I hope you’ll get a chance to enjoy the beauty of Kyoto in winter too, and have a fun and unforgettable Kyoto-experience!