What do you imagine when you hear Kichijoji? Despite the fact that the area around the station is mostly full of large-scale commercial centers, department stores and shopping malls, the area is also home to a community of individually-owned shops and shopping alleys with local roots that are tied closely with the lives of its local residents. Kichijoji is a fascinating town, slightly different than that of Shibuya or Shinjuku. Recently it seems that many foreign visitors have now come to enjoy this warm and friendly town, and are visiting in droves.
So if you are curious as to look slightly deeper into Kichijoji, a good idea is to take a look through the many open markets held throughout. How about you enjoy shopping at the many various markets deeply rooted in the local community?
On this edition, we would like to highlight the locally close-knit markets featuring art and flea markets, as well as marchés.
The thrill of discovering that special handcraft art! << Inokashira Park Art Market>>
We want to first highlight the [Inokashira Park Art Market] held at the iconic Inokashira Park in Kichijoji. After being regulated in 2007, for over 10 years this art market has long been an event that takes an active part in invigorating Inokashira Park during the weekend. In addition to arts and crafts sold at individual street stalls and booths, you can even enjoy watching the street performance acts held throughout Inokashira Park!
2017 marked the 100 year anniversary of Inokashira Park. This art market has began in 2007 as a part of project to commemorate the 100 year anniversary. Even Hyakusai-kun (means 100 years old, pictured right), the official mascot to commemorate the 100 years came out to liven up the market. (pictured left is Miyazaki-san, from our office at the Management Section of the Tokyo Metropolitan Seibu District Park Office)
So let’s take a look at the art market firmly rooted in the culture of Inokashira Park and continues to take part in the interaction of the local residents.
“Hidamari-san,” who sells handmade postcards, pastel paintings and photo frames, is a market regular, who in addition to emphasizing interaction with fellow members of the art market, also enjoys interacting with the customers passing by.
She is a lover of nature and animals. Besides creating the paintings that she sells, she also enjoys taking photos of the wild birds flying around the park and collecting them in her notebook. This particular notebook is readily available for anyone to read at the store, and well worth visiting just to check it out.
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