North Korean ships loaded with Japanese second-hand goods prepared to head home before Tokyo's unilateral sanctions came into effect.
Most of the ships from North Korea were packed to overflowing with old bicycles.
These can be bought for about 1,000 Yen ($10) and sold for up to three times that amount in North Korea.
Old household appliances such as fridges (centre) were also being loaded on to ships to the Communist state.
All North Korean ships were having to leave Japanese ports by midnight on Friday (1500 GMT).
Tokyo's sanctions - approved by PM Shinzo Abe's cabinet - include trade and travel bans. They follow Pyongyang's announcement that it carried out a nuclear test.
The impact for Japan could be that North Korea's prized sea urchin, clams and matsutake mushroom disappear from Japanese supermarkets.