Tucked away in the serene grounds of the Takahata Fudoson Temple in Hino City, on the outskirts of Tokyo, the Takahata Fudo Antique Fair unfolds once a month, bringing together some 120 antique dealers from Tokyo and surrounding cities. Known for its rich selection of traditional Japanese antiques, from vintage kimonos and 1940s furniture to porcelain tableware and traditional decorative items, the fair invites antique aficionados and casual shoppers to explore the myriad of treasures on offer.
The Antique Fair unfolds along the main approach to the temple, with shops tucked behind buildings and down side streets. Some stalls are artfully simple, with small bowls lined up on mats spread across stone steps, creating a charming and intimate shopping experience. The Takahata Fudoson Temple itself is a place of reverence and beauty, belonging to the Shingon sect of Japanese Buddhism and housing numerous cultural artifacts, some of which are designated as Important Cultural Assets.
Two different monthly events are held on the temple grounds. The first event, held on the second Sunday of the month, is similar to a swap meet, offering a variety of second-hand items. The second event, known as the Gozare Market, takes place on the third Sunday and is dedicated to antiques. The term "Gozare" implies a celebration of all things old, and true to its name, the market features an eclectic mix of items, including antique ceramics, kimonos, drawings, kokeshi, netsuke, old furniture, and clocks. Some items are so unique that even locals wonder about their original use.
Takahata Fudo Temple is known as one of the three major temples in the Kanto region dedicated to Fudo Myoo (Acala Vidyaraja). The hall of its five-story pagoda houses Kobo Daishi, the founder of the Shingon sect, and 1000 jizo statues (sentai jizoo), adding a spiritual dimension to the antique shopping experience.
Geographically, the Takahata Fudo Antique Fair is a bit west of the other flea markets in Tokyo, but well worth the trip. The fair is conveniently located just a 5-minute walk from Takahata Fudo Station on the Keio Line.
The Takahata Fudo Antique Fair offers a unique blend of spiritual serenity and treasure hunting, allowing visitors to connect with Japan's rich cultural heritage while discovering timeless pieces that speak of history, artistry and tradition.