Treasure Hunting in Shitennoji
Osaka’s Best Monthly Flea Market
In the early hours of the 21st and 22nd of every month, a faint clattering can be heard coming from Shitennoji Temple. In just a few hours, the usually peaceful space will come alive with the bustle of the monthly market. If you haven’t already been to Shitennoji Temple it’s worth a visit regardless. If you are able to get there on the 21st or 22nd of the month than that’s even better!
The market begins around 8:30am with the early-bird buyers trying to get the choice pics. I make it to the market around 10am because I find my treasure hunting skills pretty appalling without a hefty cup of coffee first. Caffeine fueled, I make a beeline for the traditional clothing and textiles.
Every month offers new treasures and despite my best efforts to buy everything I’ve yet to see stocks dwindle. I mean, really, where are all these antique kimonos coming from?!
In addition to the fabrics, over 300 stalls are stacked with ceramics and antique tableware, plants, old books, toys and almost everything in between.
If a few hours of rummaging has got you hungry, you can head over to one of the many food stalls serving up local favorites. Today, I decide to pass on the long lines for takoyaki and takosen and instead load up on a huge variety of reasonably priced dried fruit – anyone living in Japan for long enough will know that this is a treasure in an of itself. Berries in hand, I make my final purchases. This time I pick up a stunning vintage silk kimono with only the tiniest of flaws for ¥900 and a couple of vintage subway posters for ¥300 each. A modest ¥1,500 later and I have maxed out my will power. I bid Shitennoji Flea Market farewell until next month and head home to admire my new treasures.
Good To Know
Although I’m sure you might be able to negotiate with sellers on prices, haggling just like tipping is not very common place in Japan.
21st and 22nd of every month
8:30am – 4pm
For more information about Shitennoji Temple, you can visit the official site here.