Kyoto Used Book Fair at Chion-ji Temple – Autumn

The Autumn Used Book Fair (Aki-no-Furuhon Matsuri) in Kyoto takes place every year at Chion-ji Temple from October 30th to November 3rd. This is one of the three annual secondhand book fairs in Kyoto and takes place on the grounds of an historic temple. There are about 200,000 used and rare book on hand and generally prices are quite reasonable.

While Japanese novels and history books may not appeal to people that don’t read Japanese, there a lot of visually oriented books on art, crafts, Japanese gardens and architecture, travel and so on that are wonderful if you are someone into the arts and so on. These books can range from used to very old. Generally, Japanese books are very beautifully illustrated and well crafted. They would make exotic coffee table books and second hand they are usually quite cheap.

Kyoto Used Book Fair at Chion-ji Temple - Autumn 秋の古本まつり 京都智恩寺

Autumn Used Book Fair at Chion-ji Temple

I hadn’t been to this book fair yet so I stopped by this morning. I liked the experience very much. Amongst the pine trees, bell tower, main hall and auxiliary halls and chapels of the temple are all these used book sellers lining the stone pathways hawking old books, woodblock prints and posters!

Summer vs Autumn Book Fair
I wrote about the mid-summer book fair (Shimogamo Noryo Furuhon Matsuri) held in the primordial Tadasu-no-mori forest next to a stream at the UNESCO World Heritage Site Shimogamo Shrine and I thought that book fair was a little better because it has about twice the number of vendors and four times the number of books offered. More than that though, it is in a forest! It is mid-summer so the song of the cicadas and the hot stillness fills your senses. It is also far enough away from the busy street that you don’t here the noise of traffic.

Chion-ji, while only a 10 or 15 minute walk from Shimogamo Shine is also very beautiful. Shinto shrine and Buddhist temple architecture in Japan are completely different. Chion-ji is still close enough to the busy Imadegawa and Higashi-oji streets that you can still hear the traffic. Glimpses of the ugliness of the surrounding buildings intrudes in certain places. The number of vendors and variety of books is limited too.

If you are visiting Kyoto and are interested in old books or want to try to score a memorable cultural souvenir from Kyoto, this book fair is well worth your time.

Kyoto Used Book Fair at Chion-ji Temple - Autumn 秋の古本まつり 京都智恩寺

Autumn Used Book Fair at Chion-ji Temple - poster

Kyoto Used Book Fair at Chion-ji Temple - Autumn 秋の古本まつり 京都智恩寺

Autumn Used Book Fair at Chion-ji Temple

About Chion-ji Temple and Tezukuri Ichi
Chion-ji Temple is located in the Hyakumanben neighborhood next to the Kyoto University campus. On the 15th of every month the popular ‘tezukuri-ichi‘ handcrafts market is held here. All the products are handmade and include art objects, handcrafts, clothing, jewelry, food and so on. This market is very popular.

Chion-ji Temple is about a 10 minute walk from Keihan Demachiyanagi Station. From Chion-ji you can walk to the scenic Philosopher’s Path and the Ginkaku-ji Silver Pavilion.

Kyoto Used Book Fair at Chion-ji Temple - Autumn 秋の古本まつり 京都智恩寺

Autumn Used Book Fair at Chion-ji Temple

Kyoto Used Book Fair at Chion-ji Temple - Autumn 秋の古本まつり 京都智恩寺

Autumn Used Book Fair at Chion-ji Temple

Kyoto Used Book Fair at Chion-ji Temple - Autumn 秋の古本まつり 京都智恩寺

Autumn Used Book Fair at Chion-ji Temple

Kyoto Used Book Fair at Chion-ji Temple - Autumn 秋の古本まつり 京都智恩寺

Autumn Used Book Fair at Chion-ji Temple

Kyoto Used Book Fair at Chion-ji Temple - Autumn 秋の古本まつり 京都智恩寺

Autumn Used Book Fair at Chion-ji Temple

Kyoto Used Book Fair at Chion-ji Temple - Autumn 秋の古本まつり 京都智恩寺

Autumn Used Book Fair at Chion-ji Temple

Kyoto Used Book Fair at Chion-ji Temple - Autumn 秋の古本まつり 京都智恩寺

Autumn Used Book Fair at Chion-ji Temple

Kyoto Used Book Fair at Chion-ji Temple - Autumn 秋の古本まつり 京都智恩寺

Autumn Used Book Fair at Chion-ji Temple

Kyoto Used Book Fair at Chion-ji Temple - Autumn 秋の古本まつり 京都智恩寺

Autumn Used Book Fair at Chion-ji Temple

Kyoto Used Book Fair at Chion-ji Temple - Autumn 秋の古本まつり 京都智恩寺

Autumn Used Book Fair at Chion-ji Temple

Kyoto Used Book Fair at Chion-ji Temple - Autumn 秋の古本まつり 京都智恩寺

Autumn Used Book Fair at Chion-ji Temple

Big Three Vintage and Second Hand Book Fairs in Kyoto

Spring (May 1st to 5th)
Haru-no-Kosho Daisokubai-kai (春の古書大即売会)
venue: Miyako Messe (Kyoto International Exhibition Hall)

Summer (August 11th to 16th)
Shimogamo Noryo Furuhon Matsuri (下鴨納涼古本まつり)
In 2009 there were 33 book stores from Kyoto, Osaka and Shiga offering some 800,000 used and rare books.
venue: Shimogamo Shrine Tadasu-no-Mori Forest
hours: 10am to 6pm (last day closes at 4pm)

Autumn (October 30th to November 3rd)
Aki-no-Furuhon Matsuri (秋の古本まつり)
In 2009 there were 17 book stores offering some 200,000 used and rare books.
venue: Chinon-ji Temple
hours: 10am to 5pm

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One Response to “Kyoto Used Book Fair at Chion-ji Temple – Autumn”

  1. Reinier Battenberg says:

    How can I enter a book stand for the Aki-no-Furuhon Matsuri at Chinon-
    ji this autumn?

    Thank you!

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