Sunday, 4 May 2014

Makuhari Messe Doki Doki Flea Market

This was my outing for today. I'm still a bit dozy from jetlag but I managed to unglue myself from bed for the 90 minute journey across to the other side of Tokyo Bay for this. It is an annual event and there are other flea markets so why did I bother going so far? It was the size that drew me. This is just one part of one hall.
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There were three halls. You do the maths. Except don't - apparently there are 1500 stall holders and they got 6500+ visitors yesterday. Yowsers. Plus it's on over 3 or 4 days. That is a lot of stuff. The middle hall (shown above) was people without cars and handmade things. The halls either side, which were the same size, were more like a british indoor boot fair where people had rocked up with their junk in their car's trunk and were hawking it to anyone who went past. For instance, this person was selling replica guns and chinaware.
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There was a bit mixture in the car section between people genuinely having a clear out and those who were traders and had brought stock with them. In the floor section the majority were having a clear out but there was also quite a lot of brought in stuff like toys. Some were new, some were vintage, and some were...
Weird Vintage Toys
...indescribable. But if you wanted an adult size Darth Vader costume with flashing light panels you were in the right place.
Darth Vader Suit

The 'handmade' section was quite interesting as a fair chunk of it was what i think of as "sticking stuff on other stuff" craft. The actual name begins with a D...what is it now...Decoden. Nice explanation here. It is really quite astonishing what some people will attach tiny plastic food pieces to.
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There were also a fair number of sticker stands - this is clearly where those cool dudes at the airport get all their suitcase stickers from.
Suitcase Stickers

Not everyone was as interested in what was going on as I was. This guy seemed particularly non-plussed.
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While this little'un was seriously happy about his motley collection of new toys.
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I should probably stop taking pictures of other people's children though.

Overall it was really interesting and I picked up a few handmade tulips, some traditional-to-somewhere doughnuts and also doubled the size of my basket collection by buying another one. If you happen to be in the area at the right time of year it is well worth a visit although be prepared for massive crowds and the crying children that inevitably go hand in hand with this kind of event.

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