A sea of stalls and smiles. That's what it feels like strolling through Setagaya's biannual flea market. Held over two days in January and then again in December, the 440-year old Setagaya Boroichi is Tokyo's longest running flea market.
With about 700 stalls and over 200,000 people gathering in search of an aesthetic bargain, the market is almost a shopping experience turned cultural festival.
Accessed via the always charming Setagaya Tram Line, the market is home to everything from vintage samurai helmets to 1960s Japanese crooner vinyl records; from Pokemon toy characters to classical ceramic wares, Setagaya Boroichi pretty much has it all.
And on the off chance that you don't find anything to take home with you, then there are always the yatai street food stalls for your belly.
Take the Keio or Tokyu Den-en-toshi train lines to Shimo-takaido or Sangenjaya, respectively. From either station, take the Tokyu Setagaya Line to Kamimachi. The market is a 3-minute walk from the station.
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A Japanese Permanent Resident who enjoys drooling over proper soba and sushi, Japanese aesthetics ticks all the right boxes for me and I enjoy stringing words together. I've almost one hundred published articles on Japan as well as five English language books written in the traditional Japanese zuihitsu-style.