Monthly Archives: September 2007


chion-ji flea market With more than 1600 Buddhist temples and 400 Shinto shrines in Kyoto, it’s no surprise that Kitano is not the only shrine to host a monthly flea market in its garden. Each of the markets has its own character. While Kitanois known as a treasure-hunter’s paradise, Chion-ji is known for contemporary crafts. All of the vendors must have made their wares.

Woodwork, pottery, and cultured pearls comprise just a part of the range of visual treats available to Chion-ji shoppers. There is simply every craft imaginable along with lots of garden vegetables and homemade food, even homemade Japanese bagels.

And of course, there are fiber artists of every persuasion: dyers, weavers, quilters and patch workers. Lots and lots of patchworkers. With so many kimono being turned into doll clothes, western clothes, cell phone cases and mobile fantasies, it’s no wonder that kimono prices are becoming so dear!
Japanese fiberarts, patchwork

Christmas morning comes every month in Kyoto

…because the 25th of each month is the flea market at Kitano Tenmangu.
True, you need to travel a little further than the Christmas tree in the down stairs living room to find those wondrous surprise that await you. But the trip to Kitano shrine is just a 10-minute bicycle ride from my house, and that’s where the fun begins.

flea market boothsIn the gardens and streets surrounding the shrine, vendors of every exotic treasure imaginable display their wares in a myriad of little stalls packed one right after the other.

So, stroll past the porcelain, ceramicsstop to swoon over the Imari, imarisneak past the sweet shops sweets with their elaborate little treats (you can click on the picture, if you want a bigger peek), spend a few moments browsing the antiques. Then keep going till you come to kimono. Kimono on racks, kimonokimono in stacks kimonoand kimono in piles on the floor.flea market kimono

oo-oo-oh! it’s just like Christmas morning!