跳蚤市奇遇記(二)|Meetings at the Flea Market (2)|骨董市での出会い(2)

緣份讓我們相遇|Fate brings us together|この出会いも、ご縁でございます

緣份讓我們相遇|Fate brings us together|この出会いも、ご縁でございます

每月二十一日的東寺弘法市過後,便有每月二十五日在北野天滿宮舉行的天神市。天滿宮是是祭祀學問之神菅原道真的神社,是學生們祈求考試成功的熱點。弘法市和天神市是京都市內為數眾多的跳蚤市之中歷史最悠久、規模最大也最深入民心的市集。只要Google一下,便能找到很多這兩個跳蚤市的相關資訊。我也是來到京都後,在網上看到相關資料,才再在公式網站查了日程和交通手段的。在這個旅遊資訊俯拾即是的世代,早已沒有所謂的日本的Best-kept secret了。雖然自己也是既得利益者,不知怎的總覺唏噓。

位於上京區的北野天滿宮距離居住的東山區有點遠,乘市公車最少要花上四十五分鐘。一下車,便已看到神宮參道口的大石鳥居四周人頭湧湧,熟食露店擋住了半個鳥居。幾經辛苦穿過人群走進北野天滿宮境內,平時幽靜的長長石畳參道兩旁被為數驚人的露店完全佔領,把參道兩旁的石燈籠都淹沒了。

穿過了以輕食解決中午飯的本地遊客、物色晚飯新鮮材料的街坊、在平價和服堆裡尋寶的外國人群後,仍不見露店的盡頭。在一掛着動漫常登場的印着「氷」字藍天白浪旗子的,本該在夏季才出現的果汁冰露店前,我差點受不了引誘放下過路錢(這次確認有帶錢包了)。露店列在樓門前右轉,沿着圍牆往右伸展,我還以為已經來到市集的尾聲,誰知這裡才是開始--在圍牆轉角處露店列一分二,一方繼續沿圍牆邊向北,一方則沿停車場邊住南伸展,兩者均看不見盡頭。

又一異常的艷陽天下我咬緊牙關選了往北的路線,在越發新奇個性的露店間走走停停。有時是手作的布藝,有時是昭和年代的舊玩具文具,有時是Noritake的古董瓷器,有時是印刷差劣的懷舊包裝花紙和百貨公司紙袋,有時是不明所以的維納斯像,有時是各類不知對像為何的斧頭等金屬工具,有時是古董相機留聲機甚至武士頭盔。才想東寺弘法市好像沒有這麼奇想天外,馬上便想起那天見到的非常Jules Verne的深海頭盔。這樣抱着獵奇心態走了大約一小時,才終於來到北門,也來到了這部份的露店的盡頭。

也就是在這個時候,我和那最後一間露店裡的對方都給嚇了一跳。

身穿同一襲紫紅色羽織的歐巴桑馬上便認出了我:「啊!妳是上次那個--」

就這樣我跟上次東寺弘法市那和服檔子的歐巴桑重遇了。

這次歐巴桑的露店比在弘法市的大一點,同場還多了一位大叔。大叔很好奇歐巴桑跟我的奇遇,但對我手上的相機更好奇,借來拿在手中玩,還用它給歐巴桑和我拍了合照。

這之後,當我往回走時,竟又給我遇到上次那戴帽子眼鏡的男子的檔子。他馬上又認出了我,抓抓頭向我推銷新到的書刊。沒有甚麼特別有趣的東西,我趁他忙着招呼別的客人時又溜掉了。沒有太在意有沒有跟他們交談,是因為這時我已發現了一件事:同一間露店總在不同的跳蚤市出現,這裡的露店都不是玩票性質的,而是定期出現的老店,因此我也不愁再見不着他們。既然我已踫到他們兩次,一定會有第三次。

就這樣我把所有交托給緣份,繼續悠然的穿疏在延綿的露店和人聲之間。

 

After To-ji’s Kobo-ichi on the 21st comes the “Tenjin-ichi" on the 25th, held every month at Kitano-Tenmangu Shrine. Tenmangu is dedicated to Sugawara no Michizane, the patron saint of scholarship, and is popular with students. Kobo-ichi and Tenjin-ichi are two of the most historical, large scale and popular flea markets in Kyoto. One only needs to Google and one can find all sorts of information regarding them. After arriving at Kyoto I found information about these two markets online, then checked for the schedules from the official sites. In this information age when free travel information overwhelm the internet, there is nothing as “Japan’s best-kept secret" anymore. Though I myself benefit from this surfeit of information, I cannot help being saddened by this.

Located at Kamigyo-ku, Kitano-Tenmangu is a little far from Higashiyama-ku where I live, and takes at least 45 minutes by bus. Getting off the bus I could already see the crowd about the stone torii at the sando’s entrance, where Food stalls blocked half of the torii. Squeezing myself through the crowd into the compound of Kitano-Tenmangu, I found that the two sides of the usually serene stone-paved sando completely covered by stalls, drowning the stone lanterns along the way.

Passing through local tourists feeding themselves with snacks and fast food, housewives shopping fresh groceries for the day’s dinner, and foreigners savaging among cheap kimonos, I still could not see the end to the lines of stalls. I was almost tempted at a stall selling ice with a small banner printed with the word “ice" against a blue sky and white waves, often seen in anime and manga and which was a common summer sight (I remembered my wallet this time). The stalls turned right in front of the Romon Gate and continued along the walls. While I thought I had come to the end, it was only the beginning — at the wall corner the line split into two, one towards north along the wall, one towards south by the car park. Both seemed endless.

Another brilliantly warm day, I bit my lips and picked the northern path. Strolling and stopping amidst eccentric stalls sometimes showcasing handicrafts, toys and trinkets from the Showa period, antique Noritake porcelain, poorly printed reto wrapping paper and paper bags, strange statues of Aphrodite, metal tools like axes meant for god-knows-who, vintage cameras and phonographs and even kabuto. I was doubting if Kobo-ichi was less fantastical, when I recalled a Jules Verne deep sea helmet I saw there. Walking like this like a curious adventuress for about an hour or so, I finally reached the North Gate and the end of this part of the flea market.

And it was at this moment, that I surprised both myself and she who was at the last stall.

Wearing the same fuchsia haori, the obasan immediately recognised me.

And so I met again the obasan at Kobo-ichi’s kimono stall.

This time obasan had a bigger stall, and with her was a man, who was curious about how we knew each other, but not as curious about my camera. He borrowed it from me and even took a photo of obasan and me with it.

But that was not all. When I retraced my steps, I met again the young man with the hat and glasses. He recognised me at once and tried to sell me some of his new merchandises. As there was nothing very interesting, I left while he was busy with other customers. I was not that bothered about not talking to them now, because I realised that all these stalls were regulars at all these flea markets, and I should not worry about never meeting them again. As I had already met them twice, there must be a third time.

And so I left everything with fate, and continued on among the endless stalls and the noises of people.

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