The Antique Fair at Tomioka Hachimangu Shrine in Fukagawa, Koto-ku is held almost every weekend and hosts around 120 stalls. Twice a month an antique market is held on the premises of the shrine, while the flea market is held on two distinct days.
The Antique Fair and flea market at Tomioka Hachimangu Shrine might not be a lot in terms of scale compared to other flea markets in the capital, but that means visitors can take their time to look around. Like other flea markets, each stall has its own qualification, and all the people running the stores are pros who have their own shops. For instance, some stall owners can explain in English all about valuable Imari porcelain.
In addition to Tokyo’s standard flea market offering featuring traditional Japanese items such as Imari porcelain, kimono, toys, traditional household goods, wooden furniture, and carpenter tool, some merchants at Tomioka Hachimangu market also sell other collectibles such as 19th century postcards, old books, coins and other rare nostalgic memorabilia.
From a historic perspective, Tomioka Hachimangu is the largest Hachiman shrine in Tokyo. It was founded in 1627 in honor of the emperor Ojin (died in 310AD) who was deified as the God of War. Tomioka Hachimanis festival in mid-August is counted as one of the three great festivals in Tokyo.
The shrine is strongly associated with sumo. During the Edo era, the shrine was the offical venue for sumo, and tournaments were held every spring and winter. The shrine is also proud of its “ichi-no-miya” mikoshi which is the biggest in Kanto and gorgeous – decorated with diamonds. Since the mikoshi is so heavy that it was only carried when it was brought in the shrine. The mikoshi is housed in the building and is displayed to visitors.
Visitors attending the Antique Fair at Tomioka Hachimangu Shrine, should also check out the Edo Fukagawa museum which showcases real size models of Edo period homes and businesses.