Jimbocho district in Tokyo is also called “book town” because it’s full of family-owned book stores. Every book store has its own specialization, and mostly are secondhand bookstores, so in this area, you can easily find English books and even other countries’ books for a cheaper price than usual. Here is a list of the 10 bookstores in Jimbocho divided for the kind of books they are selling and the language available in the store. If you’re searching for something in particular, we recommend checking this list; there may be a specialized bookstore perfect for your needs!

Kitazawa Bookstore

Specialized in English books

Here you can find second hand and even rare books. Like the title says, Kitazawa Bookstore’s specialty is English books, so if you’re travelling or staying in Japan for a longer period and you start wanting to read something you may want to check this shop. Kitazawa Bookstores offers more than 12,000 books and the main genre is Humanities. It may be a perfect choice for doing some research for a thesis or an important paper too.

Website: http://www.kitazawa.co.jp/kindex.html (Japanese only)

Address: Kitazawa Building 2F, 2-5 Kanda Jimbocho, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo

Oya Shobo

Specialized in antique Japanese books

Oya Shobo is totally an antique bookstore, here to satisfy the ones who are interested in Japanese books from ancient times. You can find especially a lot of Edo-period books and a good part of these have many illustrations to enjoy. Oya Shobo also sells old maps that have a very high value and the staff recommends using one of these maps while watching a historical drama to get a better idea of the period in question. The last pearl you can find at Oya Shobo are ukiyo-e prints from many famous artists such as Hokusai, Hiroshige, etc. aka this shop is perfect for history&art lovers!

Website: http://www.ohya-shobo.com/english.php

Address: 1-1 Kanda Jimbocho, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo

Isseido Booksellers

Specialized in fine arts, archaeology, society, and more!

Isseido Booksellers offers a huge variety of books boing from art to society and more! Here you can find both Japanese and English books well distributed in two different areas. There is also a chance to find very rare books hidden in some shelves, so have a good look! This family-owned bookstore was founded in the far 1903, and it has been witnessing many natural disasters and industrialization changes, but it is still there at Jimbocho, selling high-quality books to spread culture. If you’re looking for something very specific, Isseido bookseller’s website also offers the possibility to check before-head if they have a certain book, so that you won’t have to go check in person.

Website: http://www.isseido-books.co.jp/index_en.html

Search by title here: https://www.isseido-books.co.jp/shop/ (Japanese only)

Address: 1-7 Kanda Jimbocho, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo

Oshima Shoten

Specialized in English and French paper books

If you’re a foreigner living in Japan, you must know how difficult is finding books in languages other than Japanese and English for a reasonable price. Oshima Shoten has the merit to offer high-quality books and paper books in English, French and even some in German for a cheaper price. Another special trait about Oshima Shoten is the fact that the prices don’t change so much between the books displayed outside or inside. Usually, the books placed outside the shop are cheaper, and the prices go rapidly up entering the shop, but Oshima Shoten is an exception. Of course, for the rarest and highest-quality books the prices go up everywhere, but in this shop, the max is said to be ¥5,000 for the most expensive ones.

Address: Kurata Building 1F, 1-1 Kanda Jimbocho, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo

Website: http://jimbou.info/town/ab/ab0027.html (Japanese only)

Italia Shobo

Specialized in Italian books

As the Shop’s name says, Italia Shobo is specialized in Italian books of many genres: it goes from antiques from 700 years ago to books about modern society and so more. Here you can also find other languages such as Portuguese and Spanish, and this bookshop also has another shop in Italy selling Japanese books. On the website, you can check the last arrived books or the news about Italy, so if you’re interested in Italy and you’re studying Italian this is an excellent chance to learn something new even from Japan.

Website: http://italiashobo.com/hq/index.php (Japanese only)

Address: 2-23 Kanda Jimbocho, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo

Tamura Shoten

Specialized in French and German books

Another good place to find French and German books is Tamura Shoten, a bookstore which sells foreign literature, classics, philosophy, linguistics, art, music, gastronomy and many other books to satisfy your need of literature knowledge. On the website you can find the new arrivals and even order a specific book. This is definitely one of the oldest Jimbocho bookstores, and in its first opening period, in 1904, it was specialized in Chinese books, but it completely changed genre after a while.

Website: http://www.tamurashoten.com/ (Japanese only)

Address: 1-7-1Kanda Jimbocho, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo

Komiyama Shoten

Specialized in modern art and photography books

This shop is for photography experts and for the ones who are studying or are interested in contemporary art. Komiyama Shoten sells a lot of interesting and high-quality prints and photography books which includes vintage photo [User1] books, fashion books, street art prints, and even original prints! You can check the new arrivals from the website, and shop by the desired genre.

Website: https://www.book-komiyama.co.jp/

Address: 1-7 Kanda Jimbocho, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo

Yumeno Shoten

Specialized in manga and anime books


Manga lovers rejoice because Jimbocho district has wonderful shops for you too! Yumeno Shoten is a bookshop specialized in manga and anime books that will surprise you with its variety of titles and authors and with its prices! They also sell cute gadgets, prints, and rare manga editions. Used manga is available, so you’ll be able to bring home with you a good amount of all the manga you wanted to buy without breaking the bank too much! Check the website linked below for further information!

website: http://nmanga.mangadou.net/ 

Address: Kanda Old Book Center 2F, 2-3 Kanda Jimbocho, Tokyo

Kagerou Bunko

Specialized in design books

Kagerou Bunko gathers design books from all around the world and provides a good English section. It particularly concentrates on antique design books, but chances are to find something more modern too. On the website, you can scroll the gallery to find the most quoted and famous prints and get an idea of what’s in Kagerou Bunko, but we recommend trying to check it out in person, because a lot of wonderful prints and design books are hidden on the store’s shelves.

Website: https://www.kageroubunko.com/english

Address: 3-26-3 Ogawamachi, Kanda, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo

Books Sanseido

Book Sanseido is one of the largest bookstores in all Tokyo, so of course has a lot of English books and a variety of genres that go beyond the other family-owned bookshops. Books Sanseido holds a lot of activities, special event, and workshops and you can check the latest one on its website linked below. An example is the “science café” where the members discuss scientific matters in a café-style atmosphere. There are also a lot of offers and promotions you can use to spend less money on your purchases and accumulate points, like their fidelity card and the club member registration.

Website: https://www.books-sanseido.co.jp/shop/kanda/ (Japanese only)

Address: 1-1 Kanda Jimbocho, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo


Thumbnail image is from Flickr