Boroichi Flea Market

The grand old lady of Japanese street markets, the Boroichi Flea Market fills every street and alleyway for BLOCKS! In classic flea market style, there is loads of crap studded liberally with actual finds, but I think I can pretty much guarantee that somewhere within this maze you can satisfy your burning desire for…

Porcelain head pillows
Porcelain head pillows
Enormous bobble-head tigers
Enormous bobble-head tigers
Kokeshi dolls
Kokeshi dolls
Demon masks w/ nose slings
Demon masks w/ nose slings
Soulful cat purses
Soulful cat purses
Kimonos of yore and not-so-yore
Kimonos of yore and not-so-yore
Useless but irresistible netsuke
Useless but irresistible netsuke
Life-size pet statues
Life-size pet statues
Traditional molds for the kind of candy that looks beautiful but tastes meh
Traditional molds for the kind of candy that looks beautiful but tastes meh
Oddly disturbing 1940s kewpie figures
Oddly disturbing 1940s kewpie figures
Shinto household shrines made of yukusugi cedar
Shinto household shrines made of rare yakusugi cedar
Hoarder stashes
Hoarder stashes
And of course, military surplus wookie suits
And of course, military surplus wookie suits

Not to mention retro toys, politically incorrect fur things, little plants that will certainly die when you forget to water them, gas masks, homemade pickles, antique pruning saws, helium-filled beetles, obi cords, lucky cat teacups, gooey rice cakes on a stick, wooden abacuses, cheap puffy jackets, drinking gourds, and much, much more.

Like all good flea markets, you have to hunt for the gems. Neener, neener, I saw this tanuki tea kettle before you!
Like all good flea markets, you have to hunt for the gems. Neener, neener, I saw this tanuki tea kettle before you!

The Setagaya Boroichi Market is every January 15-16, and there’s another one from December 15-16, just in time for holiday shopping. Admission is free, and it’s open from 9:00 – 21:00. 

Jonelle Patrick writes mysteries set in Tokyo. The first one is…

More Nightshade book goodness here, in case you think you might want to, you know, read it or something
A young woman dressed as a Gothic Lolita is found dead in a car at the local shrine, and the more Yumi Hata learns about her best friend’s death, the more she’s convinced it was murder…read more