Japanese Free Market: Where you can find affordable stuffs
If you live in Japan, you may feel the cost of living is expensive here. There is no doubt because Tokyo ranks as one of the “most expensive city” to live in according to surveys. Of course, there are places like 100 yen shops and Daiso where you can buy cheap essentials and they are surely a catch. But I’ll have you know that there are other means and places where you can head off to score quality but affordable stuffs in Japan. Let me introduce the Japanese Flea Markets!
What is a Free/Flea Market?
Have you heard of this term yet? (it is actually called “Free Market” in Japanese) It is held nearly every weekend and holidays somewhere in a convenient location all through out Japan. It sells various items from cheap pre-loved clothing to expensive antique items. There is wide variety of items you can choose from. In recent years, the more popular the flea market becomes, the more variety they will offer, ranging from different themes and concepts attached to it.One would be selling only for antique and other ceramics, while others would be dedicated for Eco-friendly champagnes and other similar items promoting nature-friendly products. They’re also likely to encourage people to bring their own Eco-bags. Moreover there are others who sell local handicraft items or books for all those who likes to read. You can check out more from these sites specializing in flea market promotions.
If you are specifically keen about environment-friendly products and are also interested in arts and handicraft, this site might be for you: Mottainai or Earth Day Market. You can also check this site out but (in Japanese Only):
The flea markets are usually organized by the local municipality, civil society, or individual organizations. Sometimes Japanese universities have their own school festivals around autumn season that also have flea markets opened to the public as well. You can be a part of it as a buyer or a seller. If you want to put up your space to sell items, you need to register in advance and usually pay a membership fee.
If you have kids, you can probably relate to the struggle of buying clothes from time to time. Babies and kids usually outgrow their clothes pretty quickly so there’s a need to update their wardrobe all the time. Not to mention that clothing takes a toll on your budget since they can be expensive. But worry not because there are events like “OSAGARIKAI” which literally means “Hand-me-down Event” or “Clothes Exchange”. This opportunity is organized by local municipalities or NPOs (Non-Profit Organizations). If you look close enough, you would probably find some events happening near your neighborhood. The participating rules may vary, but usually you are required to bring items that are still in perfect or good condition in which you can barter or trade with other participants.
Good luck in your free market hunting!