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Showing posts from December, 2017

It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like...


Or at least the holidays. Tokyo really decks itself out for Christmas, beginning almost immediately after Halloween (there's no Thanksgiving interlude here, of course). The trees that line the major streets are all wrapped in lights and almost every single department store has some sort of themed Christmas light show.

Shibuya's trees have little red Hello Kitty bows.

The pathway outside Shinjuku station is somehow penguin themed?

The nearby Odakyu department store is entirely pink.

Generic lights aside, Tokyo also has its fair share of Christmas festivals.
I decide to go back to the one in Hibya Park, near the Imperial Palace, which I had stumbled upon last year. I found it last year because I had just been rejected from a job interview--I finished my last final, flew home, flew to Japan, interviewed, was rejected, and STILL had my senior thesis to finish. I found the Christmas market while wandering around the area somewhat disconsolately and it cheered me right up…


When I told my coworkers that my Friday plans included going to Boroichi, I was met with blank stares. One or two people had sort of vaguely maybe heard of it. Most people had to google it themselves, quickly whipping out their phones behind the counter while no one else was looking.

Boroichi (bless you) is a massive semi-annual flea market held every year in Setagaya on December 15-16 and again in January. It's known for its cheap prices and massive crowds--apparently over 200,000 people will come each year, crowding the narrow streets around the Setagaya and Kamimachi stations, on the hunt for a bargain. Fun fact: the word "boroboro" in Japanese is an onomatopoeia for "worn out" or "raggedy," and "ichi" is another word for market, so Boroichi (ボロ市) is a market for worn-out things. 

I met up with Troy and his mom around 10:15am and already the crowds were intense. Stalls lined both sides of the street and you really had to fight for a viewi…