Unclaimed items from the lost-and-found are sold to the public at these special markets.

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“.

▼ These types of markets pop up from time to time in different parts of the country.

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 (US$0.46).

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

Prices jump skywards for brand items, though, as these used Bose earphones, complete with case and charger, were priced at 13,000 yen. Earphones like these usually retail new for approximately 26,800 yen.

▼ We also spotted a Sony digital camera for 18,750 yen.

▼ There were plenty of jackets…

▼ And a pair of used Adidas shoes for 2,000 yen.

▼ 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…

▼ And a Mt Fuji walking stick.

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…

▼ Leather wallets and cases…

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

That was all a bit too expensive for us, so we trawled through the miscellaneous items boxes, where we found some familiar characters from Japan…

▼ And abroad as well.

We couldn’t resist going home without a bargain, and that bargain came when we saw this Gudetama keyholder from Sanrio, which was branded with the word “Shaun” in Japanese. This was a perfect gift for our Japanese-language reporter Shaun, and well within our budget, at 80 yen.

We also picked up a PET bottle cover, to keep our cold water bottle from wetting the inside of our bag, and this one was just 10 yen.

And finally, we purchased a CD for 100 yen, just because it was still in its plastic wrap and the male idol group on the cover had such pleading eyes we felt we owed it to them to give them a listen.

▼ B2takes! is an eight-member boy group that debuted in 2015.

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 (US$246,001.31) in cash left behind on Japanese trains in 2015.

Images: ©SoraNews24
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