A fateful meeting comes at ‘Kobo-san’
Text : Yumi Oki
A temple festival called ‘Kobo Market’, which is held in 21st every month at Toji Temple, a world heritage, is the largest street market in Japan with about 100,000 visitors every month.
The beginning of this market ‘Kobo-san’, which local Kyoto people affectionately call, was from Mieiku (a memorial service for Kobo-Daishi) at Mieido hall in Toji Temple on March 21st, the anniversary of Kobo-Daishi Kukai’s death. It used to be once in a year, but after 1240, the market appeared every month and in order to target those prayers, street stores like teahouses started showing up there. This is the origin of ‘Kobo-san’.
Basically, they have stores which carry antiques, ceramics, antique Kimon, foods, daily goods, plants, metals, wooden wares and etc... The number of the stores is more than 1,000! The time flies away if you take a look at each store carefully.
It might be fun to walk around the store fronts with Dango from a food vendor looking at a historical antiques, retro used clothing which you can smell Showa period, and toys for kids. You might be able to find something ‘This is it!’ and your heart will be beating fast by expecting once-in-a-lifetime chance somewhere around.
Usually, it starts from 8 a.m. in the morning till 4 p.m. and won’t be stop even if it rains, but the open schedule is not really stable because it depends on the stores and weather as well. Sometimes, used clothing stores which doesn’t like rain and humid will close early if it rains. That sounds something I feel once-in-a-lifetime chance, does’t it?
If you visit the temple, you might want to wear something easy to walk around since the ground is full of small pebbles. You also want to have Eco bag in case you find something extra for your life.
ADDRESS : 1 Kujo Minami-ku, Kyoto City (MAP)
PHONE : +81(0)774-31-5550 (Management Committee of Kobo Market)
DATE : 21st every month (No postponement for rain)
HOURS : about 8:00 a.m. ~ about 4:00 p.m.
★TRAVEL IDEA ‘10 Things To Do in Kyoto'
① Visiting Temples and Shrines
② Buying souvenirs
③ Visiting Arashiyama・Sagano
④ Having Kyo-ryori
⑤ Wearing Kimono
⑥ Having Japanese tea
⑦ Having seafood
⑧ Visiting shops in Machiya
⑨ Being exposed to a traditional culture
⑩ Feeling nature