Japan Today

Lost something on a Japanese train? Look for it at the railway’s lost-and-found market

By Oona McGee, SoraNews24

With trains in Japan ranking as the busiest in the world, lost-and-found offices at terminal stations can be filled with all sorts of unusual items. They can’t be held there forever, though, so after a set amount of time, unclaimed items get auctioned off to independent sellers, who then sell them on to the public at a Tetsudo Wasuremono Ichi, which translates to Railway Lost Items Market.

It’s not every day that you get to stumble upon one of these markets — which sometimes go by slightly different names — but the other day we found ourselves walking by one inside our local shopping centre, so we stopped to take a look at what type of items were available. According to the signboard, there was a huge variety of items on offer, with prices starting at just 50 yen.


At the lowest end of the price spectrum were piles and piles of umbrellas, in all sorts of colors and designs.


With many priced at less than 100 yen, and others selling for about 500 yen on average, customers could be heard expressing their disbelief at the fantastic condition of the stylish items.

There was a separate section for famous brand-name umbrellas as well, and although they were more expensive, they were still far cheaper than buying them brand new.


▼ More bargains were to be found in the “various cord” boxes.


▼ There were plenty of earphones here, priced from just 80 yen each.


▼ There were plenty of jackets.


▼ With so many small items to sift through, it was like hunting for treasure.


▼ There were books.


▼ Glasses and sunglasses.


▼ Pens and markers


▼ A tricycle stroller


At the more expensive end of the scale were drink flasks, which seemed a bit highly priced, given these were used and once had strangers’ mouths on them.


▼ There was also a guitar.


▼ Belts


▼ And jewelry and watches, with brand-name watches marked as “new” for 11,000 yen.


If you’re a bargain hunter who loves an unusual second-hand market, be sure to keep an eye out for a Tetsudo Wasuremono Ichi near you. One person’s forgotten item is another person’s treasure, especially if it’s some of the 25,525,693 yen in cash left behind on Japanese trains in 2015.

Read more stories from SoraNews24.

-- The weird and wonderful things people leave behind on Japanese trains

-- We coordinate a head-to-toe look for just 1,000 yen

-- Nyaran the travel mascot cat goes edible and the results melt our hearts!

© SoraNews24

©2024 GPlusMedia Inc.

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The 'guitar' pictured is actually a soprano ukulele -- if priced at 20,000 yen, then it will not sell any time soon.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Does every train station have this kind of store?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

drink flasks, which seemed a bit highly priced, given these were used and once had strangers’ mouths on them.

That's like saying tableware and cups, glasses etc. should be dirt cheap regardless of their value, because someone used them to eat/drink.

This is what dish detergent and sponges are made for :)

1 ( +1 / -0 )

There's a pen for 200 yen. They should all be sold for 10 yen each!

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Gee, I wonder how all those salarymen lost their belts. ;)

3 ( +4 / -1 )

"Does every train station have this kind of store?"

This is a pop-up store. It can be anywhere at anytime around the country for a limited time. I think the prices shown are not much good deals.

It's a bit like Goodwill stores in the US. The merchandises are acquired at very little to no cost. The company only have to pay for staff and a place to sell.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Love these kind of stores. Always a bargain to be found.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Love these kind of stores. Always a bargain to be found.

Yes. I hate shopping as a rule but these places are interesting even if you don’t buy anything.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

If you look under some of the tables you will see boxes of items most likely bought in China that they sell as well. Because there is no way people lost a box of 10 identical items. I suspect there is a bit of a scam behind these sales.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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