March 18, 2024

Antique Markets in Kyoto

Toji Antique Market

Invitation to Antique Markets

Kyoto’s antique markets reflect the rich history and culture of Kyoto, attracting a wide variety of timeless items ranging from antiques, old clothes, and books, to furniture.

In a sense, Kyoto’s antique markets are not simply a place to buy and sell items, but a place where the past and present intersect.

These markets are held monthly at various temples and shrines in the city and are beloved by locals as well as visitors from far and wide. They are more than just a place to shop; they are a valuable place to experience Japanese tradition and culture.

Toji Antique Market

Major Antique Markets in Kyoto

To-ji Temple Kobo Market

This antique market is held on the 21st of every month in the precincts of To-ji Temple (Kyo-o Gokoku-ji Temple), which was established by Kobo Daishi Kukai in the Heian period (794-1185) as a fundamental center for esoteric Buddhism
The market offers a wide variety of goods, from ceramics, calligraphy, paintings, and other antiques to antique kimonos, clothes, toys, accessories, food, and plants.

Toji Antique Market

Kitano-Tenmangu Shrine Tenjin Market 

Tenjin Market is held on the 25th of every month at Kitano-Tenmangu Shrine, the head shrine of all Tenmangu shrines in Japan, where Sugawara no Michizane, known as the god of learning, is enshrined.
From morning until evening, stalls of all kinds of antiques, kimonos, records, toys, pickles, and seafood line the grounds and outside of the shrine.

To-ji Temple Garakuta-ichi (Antique Market) 

This antique market is held on the first Sunday of every month at To-ji Temple, where the Kobo Market is held. About 150 stores line the streets, attracting many antique lovers.

Toji Antique Market

Kyoto Heian Antique Market

The Kyoto Heian Antique Market is held every month along the approach to Heian Shrine, which was built in 1895 to commemorate the 1,100th anniversary of the transfer of the capital to Heian (794-1192), and in the surrounding Okazaki Park.
Approximately 150 booths are set up where antiques and old tools from both the East and West are gathered.

Tips for visiting antique markets

  • Visit early in the morning: the early bird gets the worm. To get the most out of the antique market, head out at sunrise.
  • Have cash ready: Many vendors only accept cash. Be prepared, as there is room for negotiation.
  • Be willing to haggle: Bargaining is part of the culture. But do it with respect and honor the other party.
  • Be careful with valuables: Antique markets are crowded with people. Be careful to protect your valuables.
Toji Antique Market

Kyoto’s antique markets offer a unique opportunity to explore historical items, and traditional artifacts, and a deeper appreciation of Japanese culture. When you visit, you will be enriched by the history of the items and by imagining the stories behind each item. Why not add a visit to an antique market to your travel plans to Kyoto?

Toji Antique Market
Toji Antique Market