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.
▼ 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.
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