No matter how long or short your stay in Japan is, when you eventually end up going home, you really ought to bring a piece of the country back with you as a reminder of your time here. Antiques are perfect for this, as placing an object in your home is not only a daily reminder of your life here, but also a great talking/bragging point for when you have guests over. “What, this old thing? Oh, it’s just an Edo period chest from my time in Japan.”
With such a rich history and a passion for innovation, Japan is a great place to find interesting, beautiful antiques with which to fill your home, and the Nagoya Antique Fair is the ideal place to find them.
At this, the largest antiques fair in the Chubu area, you will find pieces of all kinds of lovely pieces. There are over 220 stalls gathered from all over Japan selling a wonderful selection of antiques from down the ages. No matter what you are interested in: be it furniture, kimonos and paintings, or crockery, swords and armor, you should find something to pique your interest. As well as Japanese artifacts, there are also western antiques from the U.S. and Europe.
Even if you are not interested in buying, just wandering around the stalls is an educational experience, as it provides an insight into the changing culture of Japan from down the ages. At the very least it’s an enjoyable way to spend an afternoon, rummaging around in all these wonderful antiques.
If you can’t find the time to make it to the Antique Fair, fret not, for there are plenty of other great antique stores in Nagoya.
Perhaps the best is Antique Market Fukiage. A stone’s throw from Fukiage Hall, where the Antiques Fair is held, Antique Market is just a short walk from Fukiage Station, and comprises 5 floors of wall to wall things to buy. It will probably take you an hour to peruse it all, and they have everything from cheap little knick-knacks of note to expensive sculpture. Dark woods, mirrors, and stools to make any man wish he had a den! It is a highly recommended destination.
This store has a great online catalogue with a large selection. If you are looking for 6 chairs, this might be the spot to start. The shop is actually a European antique store with a focus on British, French, Dutch and Belgian furniture.
The Flea Market at Osu Kannon is held rain or shine on the 18th and 28th of every month like clockwork. If you are in the area this market offers around 60 stalls on average, and is fun to browse due to the eclectic nature of the wares on offer. You never know what you might find in the mishmash of genuine antiques and complete junk, fine art and kitsch, the truly useful and the totally frivolous.
The following stores can be found by walking along the left side of the JR tracks from Kanayama station. They are all under the tracks, and you can spend quite a bit of time walking in the area. There are several shops that specifically sell antiques, and a selection of other types of shops that make for a great waste of a lazy Saturday!