Tokyobling's Blog

Jimbocho – Tokyo’s Bookstore Paradise

Posted in Places, Shops by tokyobling on March 11, 2015

Everyone in Tokyo knows that if you are into rare books, manuscripts, posters, art photography or anything printed or bound in any form whatsoever – you have to go visit Jimbocho. Conveniently located within walking distance of five absolutely massive universities in the heart of Tokyo, Jimbocho has been famous for books since 1913 when a university professor opened a book store in the heart of the area named after a 17th century Samurai whose residence used to be located here. The humble book store grew to become a publishing house and and gradually book stores flocked to the area to attracted to the money of tens of thousands of book hungry students and scholars. Virtually any kind of speciality book retailer can be found here, no matter the subject, the language or the era. Even if not actually looking for anything it is very interesting to spend a few days just browsing all the stores. One doesn’t realize the width of Japanese publishing since medieval wood block prints to today’s laser printed porn until one has been to Jimbocho! More photos to come tomorrow, of a very few stores of the hundreds of stores in an area overflowing with books!

















11 Responses

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  1. vitriolicmasochist said, on March 11, 2015 at 1:47 pm

    Reblogged this on your worst nightmare and commented:
    Next time I visit Tokyo, I am totally going here.


  2. uaifestival said, on March 11, 2015 at 2:14 pm

    I agree I spent there many afternoon is one of the best spot of Tokyo so far.
    Do you know if there is any arts-book that sells bigsposters?


  3. Mikku said, on March 13, 2015 at 1:17 am

    One of my favourite areas, plus it’s right next door to the ski/snowboard shopping area!


  4. jccarlton said, on April 29, 2015 at 6:17 am

    Reblogged this on The Arts Mechanical and commented:
    Next time in Tokyo I hit the bookstores.


  5. rudyhou said, on May 21, 2015 at 8:03 am

    these tiny book shops are such gems. i like this type of book stores. they tend to offer better price on books, especially when it comes to second hand ones. visiting second hand book shops used to be a thing i do on my free time when i was living in the US, and spent hours in those places. how i would love to visit these japanese ones. too bad i don’t speak or read japanese.


    • tokyobling said, on May 22, 2015 at 3:32 am

      The high language barrier makes successfully climbing it all that much sweeter! (^-^)


  6. Wilbur Lee said, on August 17, 2015 at 9:13 am

    I am going to Tokyo next month (September 2015), and I’d be keen on looking for photobooks by Kishin Shinoyama, one of the famous model girls photographer in Japan. I was wondering if there is a shop specializes in photobooks or are they just spread out everywhere? Thanks!


    • tokyobling said, on August 18, 2015 at 5:06 am

      Actually there are several if you go to Jimbocho, but almost all stores there have a section on photobooks. Have a look around. I would be very surprised if you did not find every book he has ever made there.


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