Twice a year, some ingenious crafty folks put up a (flea) market that gives me the chills every time I think about it, and I’m in a coat right now. Momiji-ichi (もみじ市, Momiji Market) is the brown-nosed sister of it’s spring-time Hana-ichi (花市 Flower Market) and usually takes places in October ever year. After seeing lovely pictures of the previous Hana-Ichi, I searched all over Google for similar events. And then I found the Momiji-ichi.
It’s probably erroneous to call it a flea market although it’s a lot simpler to do so. The Momiji and Hana markets are so much more that than. There is a lifestyle, aesthetic that comes with these markets that normal off-the-street flea markets don’t seem to have. You’re definitely not going to find their wares at any Salvation army! It reminded me of a more communal time, when people got together in market places like this and exchanged their goods and greetings. Everyone was unbelievably friendly and you could tell that they took pride in the things they sold. Yes, that’s it. What I loved about the Momiji-ichi was that the booth-owners didn’t seem to be there to want to make a profit; they wanted to share their creations with the rest of the market (and the world!) and feed off each others’ creative juices.
So, on a sunny Sunday morning, I left the quiet confines of my dorm (and my homework — which I haven’t touched yet!) for Izumi-Tamagawa (和泉多摩川). It’s a small little station on the Odawara (小田原) line, and you need to take a local or semi-local train to get there. It’s a bout a five to ten minute walk from the station itself, and parked by the Tamagawa river, so there was plenty of sunshine and cool breezes.
There was a sizable crowd by the time I got there, but I’ve noticed that Japan has pretty good space management skills so never did I feel too claustrophobic in the sea of people.
The market had at least 30 individual stores — I didn’t count, but I’m pretty sure that there were more than that! — ranging from food stalls, produce stalls, antique dealers, zakka booths, stalls that sold zines and other paper goods; I think I was in heaven. For kids? No, there might have been a slightly more kids-oriented theme with all the tiniest wooden toys but it was something so much more than that. The difference between “for kids” and “for the kid in you” (child like) was so subtle, but it was wonderful seeing families at the event, and having the kids run around freely.
And, I’m going to be gross and tell you guys to head to the original post at in your basement if you want to read more!
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