Yasukuni Shrine – 靖国神社青空骨董市 (Back in November 2019)

One of the most popular of Tokyo Antique and Flea Markets for travellers due to its central location

The open-Air Antique Fair at Yasukuni Shrine is held once a week from sunrise to sunset with around 10-20 dealers coming from all over Tokyo. However, as Yasukuni Shrine is currently on hiatus, the Antique Fair will resume its activities only in November 2019.

Yasukuni Shrine is a Shinto shrine in Chiyoda, Tokyo. The temple was founded by Emperor Meiji and commemorates anyone who had died in service of the Empire of Japan. Even though the Yasukuni Shrine flea market is not the most impressive of its kind in Tokyo, it is nonetheless entertaining if you are anyway going to visit the Yasukuni Shrine.

Because of its central location, the open-Air Antique Fair at Yasukuni Shrine is one of the most popular of Tokyo Antique and Flea Markets for travelers. The Yasukuni Shrine can be reached within a 5 minutes walk from Kudanshita Sta. on the Tozai, Hanzomon and Toei Shinjuku Subway Lines, or a 10 minutes walk from Iidabashi Sta. (West Exit) on the JR Chuo Line.

Controversies surrounding Yasukuni Shrine: Yasukuni is a shrine to house the actual souls of the dead as kami, or “spirits/souls”. Of the 2,466,532 people contained in the shrine’s Book of Souls, 1,068 were convicted of war crimes by a post-World War II court. Of those, 14 are convicted Class A war criminals.

Since the priesthood at the shrine has complete religious autonomy to decide to whom and how enshrinement may occur, it is thought that enshrinement is permanent and irreversible by the current clergy. And there is little the Japanese government can do about this. According to a memorandum released in 2006 kept by the Imperial Household Agency,  Emperor Hirohito refused to visit the shrine from 1978 until his death in 1989, because of the decision to enshrine class A war criminals.

For the above mentioned reasons, keep in mind that visiting the shrine may cause anguish or unrest to some visitors.

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4 reviews

  1. Yasakuni Shrine is one of the great places to visit in Tokyo. As well as the excellent surroundings, huge park across the road and the history in symbolizes every third Sunday there is a fabulous flea market held under the trees rimming the grounds. There are some amazing things on offer but bargain hard for a decent price. It is easily reached from the Kudanshita subway line – take exit 3 and just wander up the hill. There is good signing in the station so it will be easy to find the best exit.

  2. We went to Yasukuni Shrine on a Sunday morning and were pleasantly surprised to see that there was an antique market running along the main entrance on our way out. It seemed that on weekends they would be here selling a range of used military items and relics. Items on sale include samurai swords, old army bayonets, Japanese army uniforms and hats. One would easily find the Shrine preserved of its strong military character, a sure attraction for history-war enthusiast.

  3. The flea market held on the grounds on Sundays are well worth the trip if you’re in the market for anything from kimono obis to antiques to old photos.

  4. Given the status of Yasukuni Shrine, there is a good bit of WWII memorabilia (the shrine itself is controversial but historically significant). We’ve found the prices here to be better than other shrine sales and the shopkeepers pleasant to deal with.

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