The open-air Antique Fair at Yasukuni Shrine is held once a week from sunrise to sunset, with about 10-20 vendors coming from all over Tokyo. However, since Yasukuni Shrine is currently on hiatus, the Antique Fair will resume its activities at a later date.
Yasukuni Shrine is a Shinto shrine located in Chiyoda, Tokyo. The temple was founded by Emperor Meiji and commemorates all those who died in the service of the Empire of Japan. Although the Yasukuni Shrine Flea Market is not the most impressive of its kind in Tokyo, it is entertaining if you are visiting the Yasukuni Shrine anyway.
Because of its central location, the Yasukuni Shrine Open Air Antique Fair is one of the most popular antique and flea markets in Tokyo for travelers. The Yasukuni Shrine is a 5-minute walk from Kudanshita Sta. on the Tozai, Hanzomon, and Toei Shinjuku subway lines, or a 10-minute walk from Iidabashi Sta. (West Exit) on the JR Chuo Line.
Yasukuni is a shrine that houses the actual souls of the dead as kami, or "spirits/souls". Of the 2,466,532 people listed in the shrine's Book of Souls, 1,068 were convicted of war crimes by a post-World War II court. Of these, 14 are convicted Class A war criminals.
Because the shrine's priesthood has complete religious autonomy to decide whom and how to enshrine, it is believed that enshrinement by the current clergy is permanent and irreversible. And there is little the Japanese government can do about it. According to a memorandum released in 2006 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 these reasons, please be aware that visiting the shrine may cause anxiety or disturbance to some visitors.
Craig Obrien8th December 2015 at 14:00
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.
Kenyatta Aldrich8th April 2016 at 09:12
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.
Jana Meyer18th April 2016 at 13:36
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.
Edward Davis30th April 2016 at 10:40
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.