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Bookstores of Jinbocho

The Jinbocho neighborhood in Tokyo’s historic Kanda district (sometimes alternately written as Jimbocho) has evolved over many decades into the city’s focal point for all things book-related. Numerous publishers and literary agents have their offices here, and countless bookshops line the streets; particularly around the intersection of Yasukuni-dori and Hakusan-dori. Famed for musty-smelling antiquarian booksellers but also home to contemporary stores specializing in architecture, fashion and more, Jinbocho is unmissable for book lovers. Join us as we visit seven of its best bookstores.

Index

  • Genkido Books

  • Magnif Zinebocho

  • Ohya Shobo

  • Books Tokyodo Kanda Jinbocho

  • Isseido Book Store

  • Nanyodo Book Store

  • Books Sanseido

  • Genkido Books

    Genkido Books

    Genkido Books

    Genkido, a specialist in secondhand art-related tomes, is one of the most inviting of all Jinbocho’s bookshops. This charm comes from both the store itself, which approximates the vibe of a classic European bookseller complete with vitrines housing rarer editions, and the proprietor who is knowledgeable and especially helpful. Genkido’s definition of ‘art’ is pleasingly broad, with the inventory encompassing everything from classical Japanese and Western art, to photography and fashion. Look out for copies of a well-designed magazine titled ‘Nippon’, which chronicled 1930s-40s Japan in largely visual form and is now considered to have been a propaganda tool.

    Minamotokido Bok Store
    Address
    Tokyo Chiyoda-ku Kandaogawamachi 3-1-28
    Phone
    0332915081
  • Magnif Zinebocho

    Magnif Zinebocho

    Magnif Zinebocho

    Magnif Zinebocho specializes in vintage fashion and lifestyle magazines from the past few decades, mostly Japanese but with strong visual appeal for non-Japanese speakers. The store’s stylish yellow-and-red facade, reminiscent of the abstract modern artist Mondrian, immediately marks it out as something different in this area dominated by more traditional booksellers. Fashionistas should check out 1980s and ’90s mags, such as ‘Relax’ and ‘Olive’, that tastemakers are currently mining for inspiration.

    Magnif
    Address
    Tokyo Chiyoda-ku Kandajimbouchou 1-17-1
    Phone
    0352805911
  • Ohya Shobo

    Ohya Shobo

    Ohya Shobo

    This bijou shop is a true antiquarian bookseller, specializing in secondhand books on the ukiyo-e (‘floating world pictures’) prints created in the Edo period (1603-1868) by artists including the famed Hokusai. Rare original prints are also carried, along with antique maps and guidebooks designed to give a schooling on this still very vivid art form.

    Oya Book Store
    Address
    Tokyo Chiyoda Kanda Jinbocho 1Chome1
    Phone
    0332910062
  • Books Tokyodo Kanda Jinbocho

    Books Tokyodo Kanda Jinbocho

    Books Tokyodo Kanda Jinbocho

    This mainstream bookshop, stocking new books across a broad range of genres, feels at once both modern and traditional, and is of a kind that is sadly slowly disappearing from the world’s cities. Shelves of mostly Japanese publications are complemented by a pleasant reading area, and the in-house Paper Back Cafe is a great spot to take a rest from trawling the neighborhood’s other stores.

    Tokyo Do Book Store Kanda Jinbo
    Address
    Tokyo Chiyoda Kanda Jinbocho 1-17
    Phone
    0332915181
  • Isseido Book Store

    Isseido Book Store

    Isseido Book Store

    This shop is located within a distinguished-looking brick building erected in 1931 and could be called the quintessential Jimbocho used bookseller. Isseido’s vast stock, which leans towards the scholarly, covers countless genres including fine art, history, and religion to name just a few. A section on the second floor is dedicated to foreign language books; not only English but also titles in Sanskrit and Ancient Greek.

    Isseido Book Store
    Address
    Tokyo Chiyoda-ku Kandajimbouchou 1-7
    Phone
    0332920071
  • Nanyodo Book Store

    Nanyodo Book Store

    Nanyodo Book Store

    This specialist in architectural tomes is fittingly housed within one of Jimbocho’s most striking buildings; a minimalist fascia of embossed concrete squares into which two street-facing, floor-to-ceiling windows are cut; one for each of the shop’s two floors. This sleek feel continues inside, with the clutter of many Jimbocho bookshops eschewed in favor of neat order. A highly comprehensive selection of both Japanese and English-language books is supplemented outside by stacks of architectural magazines.

    Nanyodo Book Store
    Address
    Tokyo Chiyoda-ku Kandajimbouchou 1-chome 21
    Phone
    0332911338
  • Books Sanseido

    Books Sanseido

    Books Sanseido

    This major branch of nationwide chain Sanseido is the largest of Jimbocho’s many bookstores. Across six spacious floors unfold both general and highly specialized titles, including everything from manga to medical dictionaries, and there are decently sized sections dedicated to foreign books and stationery.

    SANSEIDO BOOK STORE Jinbocho Main Store
    Address
    Tokyo Chiyoda Kanda Jinbocho 1-1
    Phone
    0332333312
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