Sunday, 1 April 2012
The biggest in Japan, the Antique Grand Fair in Kyoto
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.