Jimbocho, the so-called “Book Town” of Tokyo, is home to approximately two hundred bookstores that sell new and second hand books. Many people go here to look for rare and unique books that are highly prized by many scholars in different fields. There is no better place to look for exquisite books other than Jimbocho.
Students from all over Tokyo visit Jimbocho to look for less expensive books that they can use as a reference to their studies. There are also many cafes and restaurants in the city that have their own unique specialties like curry.
Take a stroll and discover Jimbocho while enjoying the 10 things to do in Jimbocho for fun!
1. Visit around second-hand bookstores in the “Book Town”
Book town in Jimbocho is considered as one of the largest secondhand booksellers in the world. It is the best place to go in Tokyo if you want to get your hands on secondhand books that are up for sale. Various books in all subjects can be found here. Even university students go out of their way to visit the different bookstores in the area in search of rare and famous books in their inventory.
Find bookstores in Jimbocho: 10 Bookstores in Jimbocho “Book Town” Perfect for Book lovers
2. Curry restaurants hopping at the “Curry Town”
Aside from books, Jimbocho is also known for being a curry town. After strolling around the city in search of your favorite books, it only fits to enjoy delicious curry for lunch. There are plenty of restaurants and cafes that have their own special curry, which will make your trip worth it.
Find curry restaurants in Jimbocho: 10 Curry Restaurants in Jimbocho for Delicious Curry
3. Shop for rare books at Kanda Used Book Festival
The Kanda Used Book Festival is an annual festival held in Jimbocho. Rows upon the rise of second-hand books are displayed on bookshelves that are found on the sidewalks between the Surugadai and Sendaimae crossroads of Kanda. This second-hand book festival is also a good opportunity to find rare and valuable books that are up for sale.
Website: http://jimbou.info/news/furuhon_fes_index.html (Japanese only)
4. Explore traditional Kissaten (Cafe)
There are quite many traditional Kissaten (Cafe) in Jimbocho that you will fall in love with. In this town covered by books, old and new cafes have made their presence known. One good example is Sabouru that also means “skip school or work” in Japanese. A very fitting name for a cafe that is found in the town surrounded by many schools and offices! So, sit back, relax, and enjoy a cup of tea while reading some books.
5. Stay a night over Manga Art Hotel and read as much manga as you want
The Manga Art Hotel gives a refreshing perspective on how to enjoy manga, and laze around at the same time. With thousands of manga books to choose from, you will never run out of things to reads. Feel free to ask for popular recommendations from the staffs of the hotel and enjoy Japanese culture at its finest.
Address: Landpool Kanda Terrace 4F and 5F, 1-14-13, Kanda Nishikicho, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo
6. Follow the footsteps of a key shogun at Kanda Myojin Shrine
The Kanda Myojin Shrine is a popular attraction in the city. Three gods are enshrined in it which includes Daikokuten (God of Fortune), Ebisu (God of Fisheries and Business), and Taira no Masakado. People go here to pray for a happy marriage, good fortune, success in business, and buy talismans.
Address: 2-16-2 Sotokanda, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo
7. Visit a Russian Orthodox Church Nikolai-do
Nikolai-do, Holy Resurrection Cathedral, is a 10-minute walk from the Akihabara Station. The name was derived from St. Nicholas of Japan and the reason why it is called Nikolai-do. It is one of the few Catholic Churches in Tokyo that has been around for a very long time. It was destroyed during the Great Kanto Earthquake but was later rebuilt thanks to the donations of people who support it.
Address: 4-1-3 Kanda Surugadai, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo
8. Visit outdoor and sports gear shops
There is a special street that is near Jimbocho that specialize in selling sports gears like hiking equipment, camping equipment, ski and snowboard equipment, etc. Of course, there are also other stores that sell skates, skateboards, surfing, and other sports gear that you are familiar with. If you like sports, then you might want to check all the goodies that they have in their inventories.
9. Visit around musical instruments shops
Ochanomizu, also known as the musical town near Jimbocho, is a haven for those who love music. There are many shops that sell musical instruments that range from the common guitar to the pricey violins. Take a look at what they have to offer and pick an instrument that strikes your fancy. Who knows? The musical talent hidden in you might just bloom if you give it a chance.
10. Listen to local jazz music at jazz bars
Many classify Jazz as “Soul Music” because of the way it presents itself to your ears. Some of the jazz bars in Jimbocho have old discs that are still playing their age-old melody. While there are others who invite famous artists, both local and abroad, to perform and serenade the crowd with their music.
Data is as of September 2019
Thumbnail is from Flickr