Uncovering Treasures at Tokyo’s Oedo Antique Market

Calling all vintage and antique lovers! If you’re looking for a unique shopping experience, don’t miss the Oedo Antique Market, held twice a month at the stunning Tokyo International Forum. This open-air market is one of the largest in Japan and is a treasure trove of history, culture, and of course, antique goods. Join me, Marei (Editor-in-Chief), exploring the “Oedo Antique Market!”

Experience the Old and New

The Oedo Antique Market is held open air at the beautiful and modern Tokyo International Forum Plaza, a short walk from Yurakucho Station. Designed by Uruguay-born architect Rafael Viñoly, the glass wing of the Forum is a sight to see for architecture fans. When the outdoor plaza is filled with antiques from all over Japan and from overseas, it creates a mysterious and fascinating mix of old and new.

Discover Treasures from the Past

These kinds of old Japanese masks are a hit among foreign tourists.

With over 250 vendors at each fair, the Oedo Antique Market is a shopper’s paradise. You’ll find a wide variety of vintage clothing, accessories, antique household goods, and more from all over the world.

Find great value items to take home as souvenirs, like this 100-yen fan and this 1,000-yen kimono for kids!

Immerse yourself in the rich history of Japan with artifacts ranging from Edo period (1603-1868) ceramics and textiles to Meiji period (1868-1912) art and furniture. As a foreigner living in Japan, I get really excited to see such a wide variety of Japanese antiques and vintage items.

As such, the market is a treasure trove of historical items for collectors. On the other hand, it is a great spot for serious shoppers as well as for casual shoppers and those looking for one-of-a-kind souvenirs.

An antique market is like a modern-day treasure hunt.

Oedo Antique Market Shopping Guide: Insider Tips for Your Visit

The market opens at 9:00 am and closes at 4:00 pm, so be sure to arrive early to beat the crowds.

Bargaining is allowed at the market, so don’t be afraid to haggle for a better price. Vendors often accept Visa touch-pay and PayPay (QR payment popular in Japan), but it’s best to have some cash on hand. And don’t miss the chance to chat with the friendly and knowledgeable vendors – they’re full of interesting stories and insights about their wares.

Enjoy the Cultural Exchange!

At the Oedo Antique Market, you’ll not only find treasures from the past but also make new connections with vendors and other shoppers. The vendors are always happy to share their knowledge and stories about their items, making your shopping experience a true cultural exchange.

Learn about the history of samurai at a stand specializing in sword guards, called “tsuba“.

At a stand specializing in sword guards (tsuba), I learned about the history of the samurai, something I had never heard before. For example, a simple tsuba was like a “business suit and tie” today, and one was always required to have one. In the peaceful Edo period (1603-1868), samurai no longer fought, and tsubas gradually changed from practical to artistic and flashy.

While I chatted with the seller, a French reporter joined the conversation, and the three of us had a great time. When the journalist showed interest in one of the sword guards, the seller offered a discount right away.
This seller showed me a traditional pipe case.
A vendor at the market recommends “obi-dome“, ornaments for kimono sashes. She proposed to me I could use them as a necklace or brooch – nice idea!
This seller told me her house is filled with antiques. So she has taken up selling antiques as a hobby. Her recommended item was a stacked box for girls from 1862. The price was about 10,000 yen.

I encourage everyone to explore the “Oedo Antique Market. It’s not only a great place to find unique presents or souvenirs, but also a cultural experience and a wonderful social exchange. It is a must-visit spot for treasure hunting during your visit to Tokyo.

So, grab your adventurer’s hat, and get ready for a journey back in time at the Oedo Antique Market. Who knows what treasures you might uncover?

Oedo Antique Market (Oedo Kotto Ichi)

Official HP: https://www.antique-market.jp (Japanese)
Official HP: https://www.antique-market.jp/english/ (English)
Hours: 9:00-16:00 (Cancelled in case of rain. Please check the official website for details)
Scheduled date: February 5 (Sun.)
February 5 (Sun), February 19 (Sun), March 19 (Sun), March 26 (Sun), April 2 (Sun), April 30 (Sun), May 21 (Sun), May 28 (Sun)

Tokyo International Forum

Location: Tokyo International Forum 1F Ground Plaza, 3-5-1 Marunouchi, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo
Google Maps: https://goo.gl/maps/dC78YjfQjfNspJQr5
Access: JR Yurakucho Station “Tokyo International Forum Exit”, Tokyo Station, Nijubashimae Station, Hibiya Station, Ginza Station, Kyobashi Station