Come rain or shine, whether it's a weekend or a weekday… When the 25th of the month comes along, it's time for the monthly flea market held around one of the most famous shrines in Kyoto, Kitano Tenmangū. This flea market, called "Tenjin-san" by the local residents, is famous in Kyoto for its amazing bargains and rare finds, and is popular with everyone, locals and tourists alike. Though it is held every month, the markets in January and December are the largest.
Held from early morning until sunset, hundreds and hundreds of stalls show up on the grounds of the shrine for the Shimai Tenjin (the last Tenjin-san of the year) and spill out in to the surrounding neighborhoods, offering everything from the traditional to the modern. You can shop for antique kimono, traditional pottery, and classic paintings, or you could just as easily shop for jewelry, household goods, and current fashions. There is also a good showing of handmade arts and crafts as well as local produce and greenery for sale – not to mention the stalls selling street food you can enjoy while browsing what the other sellers have to offer! Unlike most places in Kyoto, it's okay to try and bargain in the flea markets... But don't push your luck too hard! Just enjoy it!
The flea market's name comes from Tenjin, the popular god of knowledge and scholarship. Tenjin was once a historical figure, the Heian period bureaucrat Sugawara no Michizane (845 – 903). Various events and rituals at Kitano Tenmangū are timed according to the life of Michizane, and the flea market is no different, being held on the 25th to commemorate the anniversary of his passing. While enjoying what the Tenjin-san flea market has to offer, be sure not to miss the shrine itself: it is a lovely place with interesting architecture, a long history, and beautiful plum blossom gardens!
Things to See/Do
〒602-8386 京都府京都市 上京区馬喰町
- General Admission: Free
- Treasure Hall:
- General Admission: ¥300
- Junior High School, High School: ¥250
- Primary School: ¥150
- General Admission: 09:00 – 17:00 (07:00 – 21:00 on the 25th each month)
- Closed: No closing days