Sunday, 1 April 2012

The biggest in Japan, the Antique Grand Fair in Kyoto

The last weekend of March is reserved for one of the biggest antique fairs of Japan, the 52th Antique Grand Fair. It takes place at Pulse Plaza, near Takeda subway station in Kyoto, where free shuttles drive on and off to get all the visitors to the fair grounds.

It was marvelous, exquisite and absolutely amazing! An antiques enthusiast myself, I didn't know what to look at first. Almost all of the stalls had Japanese antiques and curiosities to sell, some had Western goods, and some sold handmade items. Tourists and professionals alike queued up from 9 o'clock and at 10 rushed to the market stalls to get the best buy's first. Bargaining is a must. At one point a lady seller even told me she would take the price down, even before I showed interest in a particular item! This doesn't mean the antiques sold are bargains. 'Au contraire', most stalls sell items in perfect, or near perfect state, so be sure to stop at your ATM first. :)

My treasure of the day is the bunny above, 'usagi' in Japanese. It is a traditional incense box used for tea ceremonies, by famous ceramics artist 'Rakusai'. Being from the year of the bunny, I always have a soft spot for everything to do with bunnies. In Japan, it is said bunnies work like good luck charms and so it's custom to pay more for anything depicting a bunny. A strange but funny custom, but I think got a very good bargain on this bunny at least.

The Market starts at 10:00, and again, get there early! You can easily spend 5 to 6 hours, if you like to take your time. Keep in mind, from 14:00 o'clock on (Friday at least) there are long queue's of antique fans waiting for the shuttle back. Otherwise, be smart and just walk. It's only 20 minutes to Takeda station.

The 53th Antique Grand Fair in Kyoto is on June 22th, 23th and 24th, also at Pulse Plaza. And there's also one in October, 5th, 6th and 7th.


  1. Hoi Christel,

    Ik vond vorige week je blog. Leuk om te zien, al dat moois! Wel heel toevallig dit, uit de folder van de HEMA:

    Geniet ervan!


  2. Hai Ellen! Leuk dat je m'n blog hebt gevonden! Waar kwam je het tegen? Grappig, het paashaas-doosje uit India :)

  3. Uhm, goeie vraag, ik denk dat ik iets zocht dat je/we een keer hadden getweet. Ik ben op je Pinterest geweest, maar denk dat ik gewoon op de link in je twitter profiel heb geklinkt. Ik zwerf altijd maar een beetje rond ;)

    1. Leuk zo zwerven! Kom je nog eens wat tegen :)