Started in 1981, the Yoyogi Flea Market claims to be Tokyo’s first modern flea market – and it’s still going strong. Together with the Tokyo International Forum, it belongs to the bigger Oedo Antique Market community.
Because of the low cost to vendors (under USD$40) and close proximity to the fashionable streets of both Harajuku and Shibuya, the market’s shopping and selling base leans younger than other Tokyo flea markets.
The weak economy over the last few years along with the boom in used clothing shops, has created a new generation of fashionable shoppers who appreciate both the reasonable prices and the fun of the flea market experience. The emergence of Tokyo street styles like Dolly Kei and Cult Party, which use vintage pieces extensively, has also helped to drive fashion-seekers in their teens and twenties toward the Yoyogi Flea Market.
The Yoyogi Flea Market is open only to sellers of recycled/used goods, and gathers every time more than 180 vendors. The purpose of the market is to promote the environmentally-friendly practice of reselling usable goods rather than throwing them away. No professional sellers are allowed, which gives the market the feel of a hip garage sale. All sorts of clothing and accessories can be found – from acid wash to leather jackets and purses to vintage concert tees to sequined dresses. But clothes aren’t all that’s on offer. There are plenty of cute stuffed animals, vintage vinyl records, lunch boxes, a wide variety of trinkets and other Japanese knick-knacks.
To say that the Yoyogi Flea Market is the hippest flea market in all of Tokyo might be a bit of an understatement. On a regular day, it is not uncommon to run into lots of familiar Harajuku street snap personalities out searching for deals. Many of the fun and friendly sellers at the Yoyogi Flea Market are the same young people you see in Japanese street fashion magazines, sometimes selling off the actual clothing that they wore in a magazine.
Flea market enthusiasts looking for a fashionably fun way to spend a weekend morning in Tokyo, while shopping for resale fashion with Harajuku kids, should highly consider a trip to the Yoyogi Flea Market.
Note that the market operates on an irregular schedule and is closed in case of rain.