Toji Temple is located in central Kyoto, just a 15-minute walk from Kyoto Station. Toji Temple is not only a UNESCO World Heritage Site with its 5-story pagoda, it is also the venue for one of the largest flea markets in Kyoto. The Toji Temple flea market also known as „Kobo-ichi“ market takes place every 21st of each month. The market is actually part of a monthly religious festival to commemorate Kukai’s passing, as he died on the 21st day of the third month in 835. Because of this association, the flea market is named “Kobo-san” or “Kobo-ichi”, after Kukai’s posthumous name, Kobo Daishi.

The flea market is a cultural institution and offers many opportunities for photography and shopping. With a huge selection. From modern-day medicine men hawking dubious cure-alls, to row upon row of priceless antiques, Toji market is probably the most intense and uniquely Japanese shopping experience. The market is a good place to find bargain souvenirs, but even if you don’t buy anything, just exploring the incredible variety is a unique experience. Let’s take visual tour through the hundreds of stalls on this sunny day late February.