Category Archives: Fleamarkets



We received a lot of goods yesterday and it has become obvious we are not going to be able to sell it all by the end of today. This is our final sale, so unfortunately any goods brought to us today will be respectfully (and apologetically) declined.

Today we are open from 10 ~ 3.

Today all clothes, shoes, bags, knick-knacks & cookies are going for 100 yen.

Books are 100 yen for two!

Ceramics, electrical goods and household items will be sold for a donation of your choice.

Yesterday we took over 113,000 yen. Thank you to all the volunteers and musicians who helped to make it such a memorable day. Continue reading

Kōbō-san – The Toji Temple Flea Market

Last Saturday Lucinda Cowing and I went to the flea market at Toji Temple to hand out flyers for our Bring & Buy charity sale on the 28th. The market at Toji takes place monthly on the 21st and is always very popular, but as it fell on a Saturday this month and as the weather was fine there were a LOT of people there and we could give out a lot of flyers. Here’s Lucinda in action.

I parked myself at the gate next to these two ladies: Naruse-san and Fujisawa-san. They had come from Shiga to collect money for 止揚学園 (shiyougakuen), an organization that helps people with severe disabilities both here and abroad. I got talking to Naruse-san whilst handing out flyers and she was kind enough to help me hand out flyers by giving them to people who made a donation for her cause. Thank you Naruse-san!

After a couple of hours I went for a stroll around the market and soaked up the lively atmosphere. It really is a unique event and well worth experiencing. Here among the historic buildings and bustling crowds you can get a true feel for what makes Kyoto tick. Continue reading

Bring & Buy Charity Sale for Tohoku Disaster Relief – Update!


Saturday May 28th
9:00 am – 6:00 pm

Please tell everyone you know about this event!

We now have a full complement of volunteers to staff this event and lots of good things have been donated! Come along and buy lots of stuff at our Bring & Buy Charity Sale!

We have ~ second-hand… books, clothes, records, cds, toys, various household items and electrical goods (a dvd player, rice cooker, kotatsu etc…).
Delicious Baked Goods!
Live music from the “Human Jukebox” !

1:00 – 3:00 Max Dodds
3:00 – 6:00 Felicity Greenland

Place: Akateletecobe Sovesahva (a one minute walk east of the Demachiyanagi Eizan line Station and right beside Falafel Garden). Here is a google map.

We still need more donated goods – see below for instructions!

All proceeds go to IDRO JAPAN

International Disaster Relief Organization Japan
IDRO Japan is a Kyoto-based NPO that provides aid and assistance for immediate post-disaster relief and long-term support through relief trips and housing. IDRO Japan’s efforts are concentrated on areas affected by the Tohoku earthquake and tsunami.


Those wishing to donate goods ~ you can deliver them to the A.S. event space on Friday the 27th from 2pm to 6pm and from 8pm to 10pm. There is a yoga class between 6 and 8pm that must not be interrupted!! You can also bring things on the day but it would help us a lot if we got them in advance!

If you are donating clothes, they need to be washed, ironed and in good condition – and only light summer clothes please! Winter clothing is a hard sell this time of year!

Please contact Michael Lambe in advance of delivery specifying what you will be bringing. If the delivery time is unsuitable, then again please contact Michael either on facebook, or email him here: (the 0 is a zero).

What we need:

Clothes – preferably summer clothes! (cleaned, ironed and in good repair – no underwear please!); Bags & Accessories (jewelry, scarves, belts etc); Books (English or Japanese); DVDs, CDs and vinyl records;  Games, toys and game softwareSmall household items; Electrical goods in good condition; Crockery (sets only).
Fresh baked cookies & cakes etc (if possible please label them with the ingredients for the benefit of those with food allergies or preferences).

To reiterate, everything donated needs to be in good, saleable condition – and as I wrote above, clothes need to be clean!

Returns policy – unsold clothes and books we can dispose of but larger items and electrical goods will have to be returned to their owners if unsold.

More up-and-coming events:
Saturday May 21st – David Waddell & Max Dodds Play for Tohoku @ Tadg’s Irish Pub
Sunday May 29th – Butoh Workshop with Bridget Scott
Saturday June 4th – Headbangers Death Night vol.9
Sat/Sun June 11th/12th – Sora ra ~ Dance Performance by Heidi Durning & Mori Mikayo @ Eiun-in

東北・関東大震災基金 ~ チャリティーセール

9:00 – 18:00


場所: Akateletecobe Sovesahva
(京阪、叡山電車出町柳駅から徒歩1分、Falafel Gardenとなり)

IDRO Japanは京都をベースにしたグループで、被災後の緊急支援と救援物質の提供を行うと同時に、住宅建設と教育を通して中長期的に支援を行っています。現在、IDRO Japanは東北の巨大地震と津波で被災された地域を中心に活動しています。

Two Poems by Amano Tadashi

Here’s this month’s poetry column from our friend Keiji Minato

This image from

Kobo-san (弘法さん) is the popular name of Toji Kobo-ichi (東寺弘法市; Toji Kobo Market), the monthly fair that takes place at Toji Temple. On the 21st every month, hundreds of stalls occupy its huge precincts and alleys all around and sell a wide variety of goods from food and drink through accessories and clothes to plants and flowers. The most interesting to see are numberless curios, some of which cannot be found in our modern life and make us wonder what on the earth they are for. (See this website for visual images of the market:

Fantasy at a Fair (縁日幻想) by AMANO Tadashi

In the middle of the crowd at Kobo-san,
I turned around feeling tapped on the shoulder by someone
who quickly disappeared between boxes on which combs were lined up.
The quiet old lady beside me
gave off the smell of incense from her whole body,
and it was already dark,
and somewhere an electric lamp
turned on as if throbbing.
It was so dark, but, around there
must be a kobore-ume stall,* I thought,
and kept walking
dragging my heavy feet
and realized that the one who hided
was no other than my father.
He was ten years younger than I am when he died.**

* kobore-ume: the lees of mirin (a Japanese sweet seasoning) with the moisture squeezed out, eaten as a snack
**The original poems in Japanese are posted at the end of this article.

Amano Tadashi 〈思潮社版 天野忠詩集の裏表紙より〉

Amano Tadashi (天野忠; 1909-1993), a Kyoto poet, came to fame in the 1970s, in his later years. He published books of poetry since 1932, but living in Kyoto, which was away from Tokyo, the center of the Japanese publishing culture, made it hard for his works to be widely recognized. His poetry humorously takes up scenes from daily life and somehow turns them into something like dreams. This style does not belong to the main-stream post-WWII Japanese poetry, which is generally highbrow or socially critical. In “Fantasy at a Fair,” the speaker walks with his old wife among stalls at Kobo-san, and meets his dead father, who shyly (or playfully?) hides himself. The father’s playful shyness goes so well with the feelings you get from Amano’s works.

Antiques(古物) by Amano Tadashi

On an alley where gloomy winds pass through
is an old antique shop.
It is cramped with heaps of bric-a-brac.
Some look still useful,
and others utterly useless.
Some will break down
sooner or later.
From time to time a small old man visits there
staggering on his walking stick.
He went to the same school as the owner of the shop.
Small talking among the bric-a-brac heaps
the two men look like
the most valuable curios
in the shop.
They have no price tags.

In this poem, perhaps, either of the old guys is an image of the poet himself. (He ran a secondhand book shop for some time, so the owner of the antique shop in the poem might be built on that experience.) If you walk around Kyoto City you will encounter a lot of antique shops. Some are well-managed and sell really valuable antiques at exorbitant prices, but many are like the shop described in the poem above lazily leaving heaps of bric-a-brac buried with dust. The latter might not be significant in any sense of art and history. However, as leftovers from the past, they give us a sense of nostalgia that no museums and galleries could do.

Toji Temple is a 20-minute walk from JR Kyoto Station (or 5 minutes on foot from Toji Station on the Kintetsu Kyoto Line). If you have a chance to stay in Kyoto on the 21st I strongly recommend you visit there. That would be quite an experience. Other popular old fairs in Kyoto City include Tenjin-san (天神さん), which is held on the 25th each month at Kitano-Tenmangu Shrine (北野天満宮), and Chionji-Tedsukuri-ichi (Chionji Temple Handmade Goods Market), which takes place on the 15th at Chionji Temple (知恩寺). See: and Each market has a different feel, but I am sure you will enjoy them with their relaxing atmosphere.

* Amano Tadashi, Amano Tadashi Shishu (Gendaishi-bunko 85). Shichosha, 1986. [天野忠『天野忠詩集(現代詩文庫85)』思潮社、1986.]

This text and translations by Keiji Minato. Keiji writes a guest blog for Deep Kyoto once a month introducing Kyoto’s poets and poetry. You can find fomer articles by Keiji Minato here. Here are Amano Tadashi’s original poems:





Fleamarket at Chionji

Tezukuri Ichi” is a fleamarket held at Chionji Temple on the 15th of every month. Here you can by all kinds of handicrafts, ethnic clothing, food, pottery… what I tend to think of as “nice-stuff-I-don’t-really-need”. However, I like the atmosphere there (crowded yet curiously relaxed) and I like people watching, so I went along today with my camera to give you a glimpse of it. Quite by chance, I bumped into Rie Mandala, a local artist, who today was selling her collages and accessories here for the first time in three years. Here’s a snap of Rie selling her wares:

Rie’s collages are in her own words “…a gathering of elements that have various characters. It’s an art form which uses recycled materials like candy wrappers, tickets or labels found in many countries. Each piece reflects my foot prints and tells a story of my journey. It’s like the image of music dancing together mixing the sounds of our lives.”

This one is called “Memory”:

And here are some more pictures from the market. Go to flickr for a closer look.

To get to Tezukuri Ichi walk north from Hyakumanben along Higashioji Dori for approximately 3 minutes and turn in the temple gates on the right. Alternatively, walk east along Imadegawa from Hyakumanben until you see a ridiculous number of bicycles and then turn left. The market starts around 8.00 a.m. and finishes around 4.00 p.m. on the 15th of every month.

Here’s a map.