Located in the heart of Nakano-ku, northwest of Shinjuku, the Arai Yakushi Temple Antique Fair is a tranquil oasis for antique enthusiasts and casual visitors alike. Held once a month, this medium-sized flea market features between 50 and 80 stalls, each brimming with artifacts that tell tales of Japan's rich past.
Arai Yakushi Temple, formally known as Baishoin, is a revered site of the Shingon sect of Japanese Buddhism. The temple is primarily dedicated to Yakushi Nyorai, the Healing Buddha, which gives the temple its widely recognized name as it is located in Arai. The temple's aura of healing and tranquility is palpable, and its history is intricately woven with tales of miraculous healings. It gained popularity and faith after a prayer at the temple reportedly cured a severe eye disease of the daughter of the fifth Tokugawa shogun, Ietada, earning it a reputation as an eye-healing temple.
Walking through the aisles of the flea market, visitors are greeted by an array of traditional Japanese antiques, each piece telling stories of a bygone era. The vibrant atmosphere of the market, contrasted with the serene ambiance of the temple, creates a harmonious blend of spirituality and history, offering a unique experience to all who enter its grounds.
Conveniently located, the Arai Yakushi Temple flea market is only a 5-minute walk from Araiyakushi-mae Station on the Seibu-Shinjuku Line and a 15-minute walk from Nakano Station on the JR Chuo Line. This easy accessibility makes it a popular destination for locals and tourists who want to explore Japan's cultural heritage and acquire timeless treasures.
As visitors stroll through the market, the tranquil atmosphere of the temple and surrounding areas provides a peaceful backdrop for a leisurely exploration of the antiques on display. Each stall offers a variety of items, from intricately designed porcelain to vintage kimonos, appealing to both seasoned collectors and newcomers to the world of antiques.
The Antique Fair at Arai Yakushi Temple is not just a market; it is a spiritual journey intertwined with a historical adventure. The combination of the temple's healing aura and the myriad antiques on offer makes every visit a unique exploration of culture, history, and spirituality.