Taking place over two days – the weekend of May 27th & 28th – the Matsumoto Craft Fair is one of Japan’s largest and longest running craft events featuring around 300 artists. Held in Matsumoto’s picturesque and historic Agata-no-Mori Park, the craft fair attracts visitors from all over Japan. Matsumoto is known for its traditional and contemporary craft scene, and with so many artists in attendance, the weekend is a celebration of the city’s profile as a thriving arts center.
Find a Treasured Keepsake
Admission to the fair is free and vendors will be setup across the park from early Saturday morning selling their varied wares. Matsumoto’s reputation as a woodcraft center ensures you’ll find all manner of timber products such as kitchenware, ornaments and furniture along with a huge variety of other crafts including handmade pottery and ceramics, lacquerware, glassware, leathercraft, jewelry and traditional ‘temari’.
One of Japan’s most beautiful traditional handcrafts, ‘temari’ are embroidered balls given to children to play with. Over many centuries they have become artworks in their own right and are now treasured as ornaments and family heirlooms. Matsumoto has a strong association with temari, making it an ideal keepsake to purchase while at the market.
Enjoy Historic Agata-no-mori Park
Taking place in the expansive Agata-no-Mori Park, the area includes an avenue of grand trees, forested areas, manicured lawns and water features and the historically important former Matsumoto High School. The park itself is worth visiting in its own right and is the ideal location for the market.
Artist stalls will be setup across the park, allowing you to stroll for hours with a real sense of discovery as you chance upon unique vendors in each area. Resellers are not permitted, meaning you are buying directly from each artist. For those walking to the park from Matsumoto Station – a leisurely 20-minute stroll – you’ll pass plenty of good cafes along the route, allowing you to grab that morning coffee before exploring the market where you’ll find more food and drinks on offer.
The Matsumoto Craft Fair 2023 will be held on Saturday 27th May from 10:00 to 17:00 and Sunday 28th May from 9:00 to 17:00. Admission is free.
To access the event from Matsumoto Station:
- ON FOOT / 20 minutes: exit the station via the Castle / East Exit and walk directly east along the main thoroughfare to the park. Just follow the crowds.
- BY BUS / 10 minutes: exit the station via the Castle / East Exit and board he “Town Sneaker East Course” Bus and disembark at the Agata-no-Mark Park Bus Stop. A one-way journey costs JPY150.
- BY BICYCLE / 10 minutes: exit the station via the Castle / East and head to one of the “Hello Cycling” rental stations – see our “eTour de Matsumoto” page for more details.