Last Sunday – with the cold visible on my breath – I made a short trip on the dainty Setagaya train line visit to the Setagaya Boroichi Fair. Started over 400 years ago, this huge flea market is now designated as one of Tokyo’s intangible folk cultural assets and features about 700 venders selling all sorts of food, junk, toys and antiques. There was a marching band with students playing the tuba, and everyone was in good spirits. I also tried amazake for the first time, a traditional Japanese drink made from fermented rice. It tasted a bit like milk mixed with sake and I can’t say I enjoyed my first sip – yet somehow I kept drinking it and now as I type this I’d actually like another! The local atmosphere at events like these is what I like most about living in Japan right now, and I’m at my happiest when I’m just walking about, soaking it all up.
One the main street there were some golden globes hanging from the sky. Everyone counted down and then the globes opened with lots of colourful streamers.
Lots of junk – or treasure – whatever way you look at it.
I liked this guy sitting selling shoes.
You could tell lots of vendors were enjoying just chatting to each other and catching up.
This guy’s stall was rammed – selling sweet potato, as well as mochi rice cakes.
I still can’t tell if this guy was thrilled or disgusted by his.
A guy selling a gramophone and a framed Ultraman picture among other stuff.
I decided to walk home. It didn’t take long, about 40 minutes and I stopped for some ramen on the way. This temple nearby Setagaya station looked nice in the sun.