Antiquarian Bookshops in Jimbocho

In Paris, there are bouquinistes.  In London, there is Charing Cross Road.  In Tokyo, it’s Jimbocho.

This is a town where book lovers go.  Even in the era of Amazon, many people still go there to find books bonanza.

In the late 19th century, several law schools were established in this area and it was said that second-hand bookshops also gathered in this place around that time.  Today there are about 200 bookshops according to Wikipedia.

Some shops sell foreign language books.  You can find the information here.  If you are a fan of Japanese art, I found books about ukiyoe were sold with just 300 yen.  You can buy real ukiyoe of Hiroshige Ando in some of the shops.  One example is Toushusai who is specialised in old wooden prints.  The website is unfortunately Japanese only but you can see what they have and what the prices are.

Address of Toushusai: San Bldg. 1F, 1-6 Jimbocho Kanda, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo
Opening hours: 11am – 7pm Mon-Sat.

Hara Shobo also sells ukiyoe.  They have online catalogue and you can order online.  For example, this is a famous print by Hiroshige Ando and it is 12 thousand yen.


Hiroshige Ando’s print (online catalogue of Hara Shobo)

Hara Shobo has English books, too – art, design, and history books.  I found several books written by foreigners who came to Japan in the late 19th century.  They must be interesting because you can see how western people viewed Japan and Japanese people at that time.

Even if you don’t buy books or ukiyoe, still you can enjoy watching the streetscape of Jimbocho.  This is an old town of bookshops so you can see many traditional facade of Japanese shops.

There is a bike stand in this area so it’s good to go there with your bike.  It’s free of charge if you stay there less than 2 hours.img_8727



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