Each year for the past 434, a market has been held in the Setagaya neighborhood of Tokyo on December 15th & 16th and again on January 15th & 16th. With over 750 vendors selling everything from apparel to electronics to antiques, things both old and new, as well as food stalls, flowers, and just about anything else you might imagine, the market defines what a “flea market,” as opposed to a “shrine sale” is in Japan.¬†Called the Boroichi, or rag market, there is much to buy beyond rags, although trade in vintage and antique textiles continues to be one of its main draws.

The prices on vintage kimono and obi are unsurpassed, as demonstrated by the free-for-all at this stall selling obi for 500 yen.

New indigo dyed textiles and clothing is also available.

Perhaps my favorite thing was this dealer selling Japanese kamon (family crest) stamps. Easy to pick one up and use it to customize your correspondence, regardless of whether or not you actually have a family crest.

I also loved all the handmade housewares and baskets.

I made a few good finds, including some antique blue and white porcelain platters and interesting textiles. But by far the find of the day belonged to my sweet husband. He picked up a fancy brand, gortex coat with zip-out fleece, list priced here at 68,000yen and found on google in the USA for about $550, for all of 13,000yen. And as a result, it made him perfectly happy to carry my packages!

There is still time to visit tomorrow! Maybe it won’t be so terribly crowded on a weekday…

For more on the history of the Setagaya Boroichi, directions and maps, take a look at this 2009 article in The Japan Times or the Time Out Tokyo listing.