Ryuko-ji Temple Antique Market

Treasure-hunting near Enoshima

By Larry Knipfing    - 13 min read

When I lived in Kamakura, I used to like to walk around the backstreets of the city, taking photos of 'things Japanese'. You'd be amazed at what you find just strolling along if you keep your eyes open. The same can be said for antique markets here in Japan, and the one held the third Sunday of every month (from early in the morning until sundown) at Ryuko-ji Temple near Enoshima is a good example of this.

Ryuko-ji itself is a fairly modest temple. It's not really old, or really big, or really majestic like some temples are. But apparently, the space here used to be used for the carrying out of executions. In 1271, famous priest Nichiren was one second from death by execution when a lightening bolt and loud peel of thunder boomed through the sky overhead. The execution was halted and he was eventually sent to exhile instead. To commemorate this miracle, this temple was established 50 years later.

The antique market is quite good. There is no charge, and sellers' tables are spread out around the temple grounds. Depending on the season (and weather) you might find as many as 80 dealers plying their wares here-some quite good and others pure junk! But that's the fun of it. I was once astonished to find an old temple door for sale. It was huge and immensely beautiful. I wracked my brain (and wallet) trying to imagine a place for it in my home, but wisely gave up. But I still remember it, and I still think about it, and I still sometimes regret not buying it. I wonder where it is now? Other really nice antiques I've found here are Japanese masks, old army medals, dolls, tools, and so on.

Just to give you a taste, I've included photos of the kinds of treasures to found here. As you can see, they are quite colorful, and actually not all that expensive. The sellers seem quite flexible on price, so hopefully you'll be able to come away with some nice mementos as well!

Other Antique Markets

By the way, the Shonan area seems to have a few other antique fairs and markets going on year round. Below, I have listed some of them for you.

*Shonan Kamakura Komyoji Temple Flea Market at Kyomyoji Temple

20 to 30 dealers participate.

Address:Kyomyoji Temple, 6-17-19 Zaimokuza, Kamakura

How to get there:Get off at the Kyomyoji Temple stop on the bus for Zushi from JR Kamakura Station

TEL:0465-35-2766

Schedule:Fourth Sun. of each month, 8:00-sunset

*Shonan Fujisawa Yukoji Temple Antique Flea Market

50+ dealers participate.

Address:Yukoji Temple, 1-8-1 Nishitomi, Fujisawa-city, Kanagawa prefecture.

How to get there: 15 min. walk from JR Fujisawa Station.

TEL:0465-35-2766

Schedule:First Sat. and the fourth Sun. of each month, 8:00-sunset

*Shonan Antique Flea Market Iizumi Kannon at Shofuku Temple

20 to 30 dealers participate.

Address:Shofuku Temple, 1161 Iizumi, Odawara-city, Kanagawa prefecture.

How to get there:Iizumi Kannon bus stop from JR Odawara Station.

TEL:0465-35-2766

Schedule:Third Sun. of each month, 8:00-sunset

*Shonan Antique Flea Market at Kawahigashi Town Center

20 to 30 dealers participate.

Address:Kawahigashi town center, 273-6 Nakazato, Odawara-city, Kanagawa prefecture.

How to get there:15 min. walk from JR Kamomiya Station on the JR Tokai Line.

TEL:0465-35-2766

Schedule:Second and third Sun. of each month, 8:00-sunset

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Larry Knipfing

Larry Knipfing @larry.knipfing

Born on Long Island, New York in 1958, I have spent the last 30+ years of my life living in Japan, and enjoying every minute of it! I especially love photography, and Japan is definitely one of the most beautiful places in the world to photograph! (Visit my online gallery) My other love is fiction writing and I have published quite a few books that take place in Japan. Fun stuff! You can find them at my Amazon Author's Page. In addition to my writing, I have mainly been working in the field of corporate training, and at the same time have done a lot of photography. *Kamakura, and now Yokohama (both in Kanagawa Prefecture) have been my home for almost twenty years and are perfect places for me: Hilly, situated on the water, and with amazing histories. The rest of Kanagawa is equally amazing and includes the great Hakone onsen and spa area.  *Tochigi Prefecture, with World Heritage site Nikko, is one of the most beautiful places in the world, and not far from Tokyo.  *Fukui Prefecture, located in central Japan on the coast of the Japan Sea, is brimming with classic Japanese culture and great natural beauty everywhere you look. I really look forward to sharing ALL of Japan's beauty and magic with all of you. Website: www.larryknipfing.com Contact me: larry.knipfing@japantravel.com

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