Tokyo is still in the midst of its coldest weather of the year, but thankfully the beginning of spring is just a month away. Why not try going to a flea market? It’s the best way to spend a holiday hanging around the city. People who are moving house or being transferred for their work sell their unwanted items at bargain prices. These dedicated Japanese sellers polish a great deal of products and bargains to look as good as new, and it’s great fun even just to look at the items on display.


Here’s how to negotiate if you find something you like.

  1. Casually greet the seller. You can just say “Hello”. They are often friendly to foreigners.
  2. Carefully pick up the item in a manner that lets the seller know that you will treat it well if you purchase it.
  3. Give the seller your first offer of around half the price tag value.
  4. If you’re purchasing many items at once, try to haggle even further.
  5. Finally, try asking to have another item “Omake” thrown in.


              If the seller speaks some English, try talking to them about various things other than about the item you wish to purchase. The flea market is not just a place to enjoy shopping; you can enjoy chatting with other people you meet on the day. Some sellers display their goods in the hope they can make new friends with similar interests.

FLEA MARKETS IN JAPAN, Flea Market Insiders