Jinbocho Book Town is a book paradise

old Japanese books on bookshelf

If you love bookshops, Jinbocho Book Town is the place. It has over two hundred of them. There are a bunch of coffee shops too! The area is a great place to spend an afternoon trying to find something that catches your eye. You might even get lucky and pick up a forgotten literary gem.

Books stuff the neighborhood. If you enjoy reading as I do, that might sound like heaven. But that is what Jimbocho Book Town is. Within a 15-minute walking radius of Jinbocho Station are many book-stuffed stores. If you want one hundred yen novels, Edo period woodblock prints, or original copies of a work by Hokusai, you can.

Many of the shops deal in secondhand materials, but not all. If you’re a collector or want to be one, Jinbocho is where you want to go. It can be the place to hunt down antique maps or authentic woodblock prints from the Edo period. In that case, I’d recommend you start at Sarashobo. Take a big wallet with you too!

The owners of places like Sarashobou are professionals. They know everything and everyone in the business. Even if you want something incredibly rare, you should talk to them. Just be prepared to wait for some items, though! Waiting lists can be long.

Konbunkan bookshop
Konbunkan bookshop.
Jimbocho bookshop

You will find English-language books and bookstores in Jinbocho. One of them is Kitazawa. It has an incredible collection of secondhand academic English books. They are on the second floor. I might be exaggerating when I say it covers every subject known to man. But that is how it seems! The store’s interior is beautiful, very classical.

Japanese books on bookshelf

Where is Jinbocho Booktown?

Jinbocho Booktown is in Chiyoda Ward, along Yasukuni-Dori. Jimbocho Station serves the area. It has three lines:

  1. Toei: Shinjuku and Mita
  2. Tokyo Metro Hanzomon

From the station, use these exits:

  • A2
  • A3
  • A4
  • A5
  • A6
  • A7

You can see it here on Google Maps.

Wrapping up

Jinbocho Book Town is the place to buy something to read or collect. It’s also a great place to enjoy a walk around. And once you finish, you can relax at one of its cafes. If you have been there, let us know what you think of the area. Let us know your favorite shop!

display case books

One last thing. When I visited Jinbocho for this article, it was an extremely wet day. For the entire afternoon, I had to juggle my camera and an umbrella when taking pictures. I will return to take better photos another day!

Sarashobo books
Books at Sarashobo.

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