Select Language JapaneseEnglish
Top > KYOTO Guide > What To Do in KYOTO > Market

What To Do in KYOTO — Market

“If Kobo-san is sunny, Tenjin-san will be rainy.”

Markets in Kyoto are long-loved events for locals. This well known saying mentions about two major markets in Kyoto; “Kobo Market” held at To-ji Temple, and “Tenjin Market” held at Kitano Tenmangu Shrine. The saying tells how markets are common and are part of people’s lives in Kyoto.


These two markets originally started from Ennichi, which became popular around Heian Period (794 to 1185). Ennichi is a specific day (=Nichi), when people have a chance to make relationships (=En) with gods at temples and shrines. Changing with the times, today, more than 1000 stalls open at both markets and about 200,000 people visit.

Themed Markets

Another market is held at To-ji Temple, specialized in antiques. “Garakuta Antique & Handicraft Market” is for antique lovers and collectors. While the two major markets handle a wide range of daily goods, there are various themed markets in Kyoto as well.

Handicraft Markets

Starting from “Hyakumanben-san Handicraft Market”, handicraft markets are a trend. Artists sell their handmade products directly to visitors, one on one, at these markets. “Kamigamo Handicraft Market” and “Heian Rakuichi Handicraft Market” are the following large markets.

Lives & Communities

Here is a list and a map of large and monthly held markets at temples and shrines, or places close to them. The icons next to market names would give a clue about each market. Even if there is nothing to look for, there are chances to seek the lives and communities of Kyoto.

Garakuta Antique & Handicraft Market
@To-ji Temple

Established in 796, To-ji Temple has the oldest remaining Esoteric sculptures, and the highest pagoda, a 55 meters high five storied pagoda, in Japan. The temple is registered as one of the 17 world heritage sites in Kyoto.

At this historic site opens the Garakuta Antique & Handicraft Market for antique fans. The market is not too crowded with a relaxing atmosphere. Here, one can find expensive antiques that cost millions, to nostalgic things, and some odd ends in reasonable prices.

Photos & Tips

Where To-ji Temple
When 1st Sun./ 6:00-Sunset
Number of Stalls 350
From Kyoto Station 3 min. walk from Toji Minamimon Mae (Kyoto City Bus/ 16 19 42
3 min. walk from Toji Stn. (Kintetsu Rwy.) 
15 min. walk from Kyoto Stn. 
Heian Rakuichi Handicraft Market
@Okazaki-koen Park

This park locates between Heian Jingu Shrine and its enormous Torii Gate. The shrine was built in 1895, designed after the Imperial Court Palace in Heian Period (794 to 1185). Okazaki area is a well known cultural zone by locals, having museums, galleries, a library, a zoo, and event halls.

Being held in this cultural area, each work at this market has a characteristic and creative sense. Touch the Japanese culture and spirit by communicating at stalls, workshops, or at the handwork boothes.

Photos & Tips

Where Okazaki-koen Park
When 2nd Sat./ 10:00-16:00
Number of Stalls 180
From Kyoto Station 2 min. walk from Kyoto Kaikan Bijutsukan Mae (Kyoto City Bus/  5  100
5 min. walk from Higashiyama Nijo (Kyoto City Bus/ 206
Hyakumanben-san Handicraft Market
@Hyakumanben Chion-ji Temple

The name Hyakumanben came from the 8th chief monk, Zenakuen-shonin who chanted prayers 1000,000 times (Hyakumanben in Japanese) when an epidemic broke out in Kyoto during 14th century. Today, people call not only the temple, but the whole area Hyakumanben.

Hyakumanben-san Handicraft Market started in 1987, as a place for amateur artists to show their handmade works. Today, the most historical and famous handicraft market in Kyoto delivers all sorts of unique and heartwarming handmade works.

Photos & Tips

Where Hyakumanben Chion-ji Temple
When 15th/ 8:00-16:00
Number of Stalls 450
From Kyoto Station 3 min. walk from Hyakumanben (Kyoto City Bus/ 17
3 min. walk from Hyakumanben (Kyoto City Bus/ 206
Kobo Market
@To-ji Temple

Established in 796, To-ji Temple was handed to Kobo-daishi (Kukai) in 823. Flourished as the main Dojo seminary of Esoteric Buddhism, the temple has the oldest remaining Esoteric sculptures, and the highest pagoda in Japan; the 55 meters high five storied pagoda.

The largest and historical market in Kyoto started from visiting the temple to pray for Kobo-daishi every 21st, in anniversary of his death. As the visiting became popular, green tea was served to visitors. More stalls started to open from Edo Period (1603 to 1868), and today, the market sells everything related to daily living, where 200,000 people visit from all over the world.

Photos & Tips

Where To-ji Temple
When 21st/ 5:00-16:00
Number of Stalls 1200-1300
From Kyoto Station 3 min. walk from Toji Minamimon Mae (Kyoto City Bus/ 16 19 42
3 min. walk from Toji Stn. (Kintetsu Rwy.) 
15 min. walk from Kyoto Stn. 
Tenjin Market
@Kitano Tenmangu Shrine

This shrine was established in 947 as the head shrine of Tenmangu shrines, dedicated to a Heian Period (794 to 1185) scholar and statesman, Sugawara-no-Michizane (845 to 903). He is known as the god of academics, where students visit to make prayers of success in school.

Many people started to visit the shrine every 25th, in anniversary of Michizane’s day of birth and death. Entertainment shows such as Sumo wrestling and Rakugo comic storytelling are said to be held during the Genroku Years (1688 to 1704), and became more like a market in the early 20th century. The market today handles daily goods, antiques, handicrafts, food, and many more.

Photos & Tips

Where Kitano Tenmangu Shrine
When 25th/ 6:00-17:00
Number of Stalls 1000
From Kyoto Station Short walk from Kitano Tenmangu Mae (Kyoto City Bus/ 50 101
7 min. walk from Kitano Hakubaicho (Kyoto City Bus/ 205
Kamigamo Handicraft Market
@Kamigamo-jinja Shrine

This shrine is one of the 17 world heritage sites, and one of the oldest shrines in Kyoto established in 678. There are 2 National Treasures and dozens of Important Cultural Properties in the ground. Cherry blossoms bloom in Spring, and Autumn leaves redden in Fall.

At this historic site opens Kamigamo Handicraft Market, starting from 2006. Stalls line beside the stream selling bakery, sweets, traditional handicrafts, and modern artworks. Feel the spirit of Japanese handicraft at the market.

Photos & Tips

Where Kamigamo-jinja Shrine
When 4th Sun./ 9:00-16:00
Number of Stalls 250
From Kyoto Station Short walk from Kamigamo Jinja Mae (Kyoto City Bus/  4 
3 min. walk from Kamigamo Misonobashi (Kyoto City Bus/  9