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Smart Budget Shopping At Flea Markets Around Tokyo 

Smart Budget Shopping At Flea Markets Around Tokyo 

Smart Budget Shopping At Flea Markets Around Tokyo 

Written by Ilham Rio Baramika

Tokyo 2016.04.28 Bookmark

This is an introductory guide to the flea markets around Tokyo. See how you can find the flea markets and how to purchase antiques and vintage items.

Written by Ilham Rio Baramika

Tokyo is often being stereotyped as an exclusive place where almost everything is expensive. This is partially true, because the living costs in Tokyo are very expensive compared to other cities in Japan. However, this doesn't mean that budget shopping is impossible in this city. The most common option to do budget shopping in Tokyo is going to a flea market.

Antique Goods and Valuable Vintage Items


The most appealing point of flea markets is that they offer a wide variety of antique and vintage goods, that you wouldn't expect to find anymore. Moreover, they tend to have affordable prices and relatively good quality. In fact, many of the sellers are non-professional, which means that some of the old items might value more than what is written on their price tag.

If you are interested in collecting antique goods and valuable vintage, the flea markets in Tokyo will be the best place to go "treasure hunting".

Distinguish The Item's Quality


If you were looking for vintage clothes, always check whether they are clean and don't have permanent stains on them. Touching the fabric smoothly with your fingers would be the easiest way to determine its condition.

Always be careful before purchasing any electronic items. Do not fall in for the cheap price. Make sure you ask the vendor whether the device is sold with a valid guarantee. If the guarantee is not yet expired, confirm its expiration date and ask for the documents proving the insurance of the device.


As for items such as jackets, backpacks, jeans and any other items with zippers, always check if the zipper is stuck or broken.


After all, quality often comes at a higher price, and this rule also applies to flea markets. Even though most of the items at the flea markets are substantially cheap, some items with a higher value such as brand items and antiques or items that are in excellent condition will have a higher price. However, you can always try to bargain for a better price.

Negotiate The Price Smartly


If you are fluent in Japanese or have basic knowledge of Japanese language, you can start a casual conversation with the seller before starting the transaction. You can at least try to compliment their items even if it is in a simple English phrase such as "it is good" or "very nice". It will be a good way to start the conversation with the seller.


Next, ask the starting price for some items, including the item you are particularly interested in. Afterwards try offering a price that is actually lower than you are willing to pay. Didn't manage to get a good price to one item? Tell the seller you will buy more than one item and ask for a discount to bargain once again.

If you are not in a hurry, try waiting until the very last moment before the closing time. Many of the vendors at flea markets often offer larger discounts or will decrease the price significantly during the one hour before closure.

Where To Find Flea Markets Around Tokyo

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You will not believe how easy it actually is to find flea markets around Tokyo. Try to walk during the weekend around public parks, shrine gardens or even parking lots. You will most likely bump into a flea market. However, most of the flea markets do not have specific schedules. We recommend you visit some of the flea markets listed below:

Oikebajo Flea Market



Located in the parking lot area next to Oikebajo horse track, this flea market is being held regularly every weekend. Around 600 vendors are present, that is why it is considered one of the largest flea markets in Tokyo. Whereas other flea markets could stop operating in case of light rain, the Oikebajo market will still be held, as it is protected by the roof of the parking lot.

Mottainai Flea Market, Akihabara


Next to the Akihabara UDX building, there is a relatively small flea market being held regularly every month during weekends - the Mottainai Flea Market. You can find many anime related goods such as figurines, accessories or T-shirts, and this is probably the main distinctive feature of this small Akihabara flea market. This flea market is actually part of the "Mottainai project", a big environmental movement initiated by the winner of the Nobel prize for peace, Wangari Maathai.

Yasukuni Shrine Flea Market


The vendors at the Yasukuni shrine flea market are known for how neatly they arrange their items. It is more like an antique art fair than a flea market, because most of the vendors are selling valuable antiques and vintage goods. There are of course many vendors selling clothes and fashion items also.

In Conclusion

As you could see, you don't have to worry about overspending when shopping in Tokyo. Enjoy your weekend while strolling around the flea markets in the city and looking for undiscovered treasures on display.


Oikebajo Flea Market

Address: Tokyo, Shinagawa, Katsushima 2-1-2
Open: 9:00 - 15:00, every Saturday and Sunday
Nearest Station: Tachiaigawa station on the Keikyū line
Access: an 8 minute walk from Tachiaigawa station in the direction of the Oikebajo horse track race
WiFi: N/A
Telephone: 03-3763-2151
Official Website: Tokyo city Keiba Official Website

Akihabara Mottainai Flea Market

Address: Tokyo, Sotokanda, Chiyoda-ku, 4-2-7
Open: 10:00 - 17:00, first weekend until the third weekend every month
Nearest Station: Akihabara station on the JR Yamanote line
Access: a 4 minute walk from Akihabara station in the direction of the Akihabara UDX Building
WiFi: N/A
Telephone: 03-3384-6666
Official Website: Akihabara UDX Official Website (Japanese Only)

Yasukuni Shrine Flea Market

Address: Tokyo, Chiyoda-ku, Kudankita 3-1-1
Open: 8:00 - 15:30, on two Saturdays every month
Nearest Station: Kudanshita Station on the Shinjuku line
Access: a 5 minute walk from Kudanshita station on the Shinjuku line, head to the main gate of the Yasukuni Shrine
WiFi: N/A
Telephone: 090-2723-0687
Official Website: Yasukuni Shrine Flea Market Official (Japanese)

The information presented in this article is based on the time it was written. Note that there may be changes in the merchandise, services, and prices that have occurred after this article was published. Please contact the facility or facilities in this article directly before visiting.

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