Koshinzuka Street Market

 

This nice man mixes custom-blended 7-pepper spice (shichimi) while you wait.
This nice man mixes custom-blended 7-pepper spice (shichimi) while you wait.

Shop for big red underwear, squicky snacks & goods from a bygone era. Walking along Koshinzuka Street is like taking a step back in time, and I always see something I’ve never seen before.

I hope you’ll be in Tokyo on a day that ends in “4,” because on the 4th, 14th and 24th of each month, vendors selling old-fashioned merchandise set up shop at the Koshinzuka Street Market, just like they have for centuries.

EarCleaner
Get your own custom-carved bamboo ear cleaner, made while you wait.
AkapantsStore
It’s good luck to wear red next to your skin when you turn sixty, hence the many styles of bright red underwear for, um, mature men and women. Be careful, though lest you succumb to The Peril Of The Red Panty!
Inago
Those dark snacks in the middle? Sweet & salty crickets.
Insects aren't the only squicky thing for sale at the street market – these traditional snacks made from squid guts are also sold by the pound.
Insects aren’t the only squicky thing for sale at the street market – these traditional snacks made from squid guts are also sold by the pound.
XeroxPalmreader
Fortunetellers abound near the temple, and one brings palm reading into the 21st century by using a copier to xerox your palm, then he reads the xerox (in Japanese only).
PlumBonsai
The little side street next to the temple is lined with sellers of seasonal bonsai and other Japanese plants.
SnakeTea
If you need to stock up on health tea made from dried poisonous snakes, this nice man will blend it while you wait.
KewpieDolls
Where else can you find costumed Kewpie dolls and other traditional toys for grandchildren?
Sunaburo
This street even has a public bath house offering sunaburo (sand baths).
The Koshinzuka souvenir shops have great only-in-Japan stuff, like this umbrella that turns into a show of cherry blossoms when it gets wet.
The Koshinzuka souvenir shops have great only-in-Japan stuff, like this umbrella that turns into a shower of cherry blossoms when it gets wet.
GrannyPants
Know anybody who needs a poke bonnet and matching traditional Japanese farmer pants?
TogenukiJizo
Make an offering at the Togenuki Jizo, to cure all your your aches and pains.
And finally, don't leave without getting your picture taken with The Honorable Duck Butt Of Sugamo.
And finally, don’t leave without getting your picture taken with The Honorable Duck Butt Of Sugamo.

Most store and market stalls open from 10:00 a.m.

Street market days: Every month on the 4th, 14th, and 24th

Admission: Free

DIRECTIONS & MAP

Nearby destinations: Ikebukuro, Koraku-en Garden, Nezu Shrine, Rikugi-en

Read a novel set in Tokyo

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