Monday, 26 March 2012

Charming Kyoto Art Flea Market at Nakagyō-ku

Nakagyō-ku in Kyoto is a lovely and somewhat hip neighbourhood anyone visiting Kyoto should try not to mis. This weekend the charming 'Kyoto Art Flea Market 2012' was organized throughout some of the streets and buildings there. Due to the rain the artists that would have been showing and selling their wares outside chose wisely and chose other activities for the day. But there was enough to see inside, even the better for visitors and vendors alike. But not to worry, there were four buildings left filled with creative abundance to enjoy. Buildings of quite different atmosphere, the Museum of Kyoto (the former Bank of Japan) being worth a look by itself.

The quality of the creative work was not always to my taste, but there were enough actual treasures to be found. And some artist had such downright cute items, you would just want to take your suitcase and fill it up! Regularly not a sock puppet devotee, one can not look at the works of 55pup, by Shizuka Okihara and not be charmed by their kawaii-ness* and skill. I think Okihara san has brought the Sock puppet to a higher plane with the detail and cleverness she puts in to her characters. And I would never have thought to write something about sock puppets in my life! :)

Another artist that grabbed my attention was Kojiro Tanaka with an overwhelming amount of great illustrations, printed as card or original art work. Tanaka san depicts the modern Japanese (Kyotite) young women as you can see them in Kyoto making their way gracefully through the streets in traditional kimono, with a new age twist.
Other artists showed  beautiful leather goods, bags, woodwork, ceramics, jewelry and other accessories, clothing, stickers and shoes even. Enough to fill a few hours. Except for the weather, a heartwarming event, not in the least because of the enthusiasm and openness of the artists attending.
*Kawaii means cute in Japanese

Visit the 55pup website for more rocking sock puppets by Shizuka Okihara
Visit Kojiro Tanaka's website for more charming illustrations
Thank you both for giving me permission to use your images!


  1. Wauw! The Ugly doll dried up pretty good ;)!
    What about the stickers (picture right below??)They're looking good.


    1. Yes indeed! These stickers were also very professional, and bunches of them! The website for the stickers: