Osu Kannon Flea Market
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Vintage Finds on the 8s!
Looking for something unique and distinctly Japanese to decorate your home, a beautiful vintage kimono, or a piece of fun Japanese cartoon memorabilia to add to your collection? If you’re in Nagoya, I implore you to check out the Osu Kannon Flea Market that happens on the 8th, 18th, and 28th of each month.
Vendors set up outside the temple and offer wares that draw many a Japanese native and fascinated gaijin alike. I personally love the market for unique gifts to send back home (like beautiful porcelain table-wares, jewelry, WWII memorabilia, and even vintage anime toys), as well as the wide array of beautiful, vintage, handmade kimono, all of which is much more affordably priced than the stuff found in the actual stores just a stone’s throw away in the Osu market. Plus it’s all just plain fun to look at.
A few tips to get you started:
- Get there early! As with any good flea market finds, the best ones get swiped early on in the day, and some of the vendors even begin to pack up and leave by noon.
- Bring lots of small bills and change. The vendors are much more happy to work with you if they don’t have to try and make change for your 100 man yen.
- Take a quick lap of the stalls, but then buy something small: There are many stalls that have competing items and you can snag a better deal if you don’t just pounce on the first item you see. BUT! The vendors are more comfortable with the random foreigner touching all their stuff if that foreigner is holding a bag which indicates she’s there to spend money and not just gawk. So pick something small out for yourself if you can to get your bargaining feet wet.
- Buyer beware: don’t take the vendor’s word at face value. If you need to take a step back and do some googling, take the time. Learn from my mistakes, or you could also end up with a “vintage Godzilla figurine from original movie time, made in Japan” that turns out to have “Made in China, 1999” stamped on the bottom of it’s foot… for 4000 yen.
You’ll need a little bit of Japanese skill to navigate the market successfully, but if you’re comfortable with numbers, the vendors will work with you. Give it a shot and snag some truly cool stuff!