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Something about walking down aisles of shelves that are packed with stories, taking in that new-book smell, the cozy lighting...the whole atmosphere of bookstores just draws me to spend a large part of my weekends bookstore-seeking. There are surprisingly many bookstores that sell English books in Tokyo, so here are my top 5 bookstores where you can feed your need to read. 

 

MARUZEN Marunouchi Main Store, Tokyo

Address: Marunouchi 1-4 Marunouchi Oozo, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 1-4F Maruzen

Access: 5-minute walk from Tokyo Station Marunouchi Exit

Located in the urban hub of Tokyo Station and Marunouchi District is MARUZEN Marunouchi, one of the largest general bookstores in Japan. MARUZEN Marunouchi, a bookstore styled as a "book museum,"  is a 4-floor bookstore holding over 1,200,000 pieces of literature and 120,000 foreign books. The top floor, which is solely dedicated to English books,  has a good selection of both adult fiction and nonfiction. In addition to books, this bookstore has stationery sections, a cafe, a gallery space, and a space for vendors. If you are looking for a specific book in English or Japanese, you will most definitely find it here. The shopping complex Oazo, where the bookstore is in, contains a wealth of shops and restaurants, making it an urban oasis to spend a day at.

 

Books KINOKUNIYA Tokyo, South Shinjuku

Address: Takashimaya Times Square Annex 6th floor, 5-24-2 Sendagaya, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo 151-0051

Access: 2-minute walk from JR Shinjuku Station Shin-Minami Exit

Not only does this bookstore have an impressive selection of books, but this bookstore may also be the most conveniently located English bookstore in Tokyo. Not to be confused with the KINOKUNIYA Shinjuku flagship store, Books KINOKUNIYA Tokyo is located on the 6th floor of Takashima Times Square near the South Exit of Shinjuku Station. The selection and genre of books have a diverse range including children's picture books, magazines, comics, nonfiction, travel books and textbooks. Pre-pandemic, this bookstore also held author readings and book signings, inviting authors such as Kazuo Ishiguro, Barry Lancet and Hanya Yanagihara. 

 

Roppongi TSUTAYA Books, Roppongi

Address: 6-11-1 Roppongi, Minato-ku, Tokyo 106-0032 ROPPONGI HILLS Roppongi Keyakizaka Street

Access: 10-minute walk from Roppongi Station on the Metro Hibiya Line

The moment you walk into this bookstore, you instantly feel the sophisticated aura of Roppongi. Roppongi TSUTAYA Books, built in 2003, is the first bookstore and cafe in one, and you can tell. Roppongi TSUTAYA Books is a two-floor bookstore with a Starbucks,  a gallery space, stationery shops, and a bar lounge. This book store offers a wide selection of books and magazines. It's an all-in-one booklover paradise, with books and a chill space to relax. 

 

Ginza TSUTAYA Books, Ginza

Address: 6-10-1 Ginza, Chuo-ku, Tokyo 104-0061

Access: 2-minute walk from A3 Exit of Tokyo Metro Ginza Station 10-minute walk from JR Yurakucho Station 10-minute walk foot from JR Shimbashi Station

Ginza TSUTAYA Books is a great place to go if you want to delve into the world of art and books. Devoted to the arts, Ginza TSUTAYA Books hold "Live Closer to Art" as their main concept. On the 6th floor of Ginza Six, a luxury shopping complex, you will find a collection of 60,000 art books showcasing the work of new and emerging artists, as well as leading figures in the art field. The genres of books in Ginza TSUTAYA Books include photography, architecture/design, literature, fashion, and magazines.  You will find rare vintage texts and photographic collections from over 100 artists. What also makes this bookstore unique is how there is also a Japanese sword gallery on display, aiming to spread to the history and culture of Japan. 

 

Daikanyama T-Site, Daikanyama

Address: 〒150-0033 17-5 Sarugakucho, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo

Access: 5-minute walk from Shibuya Station

Daikanyama T-site is where to go if you want to enjoy books in nature, because this bookstore is themed "A Library in the Woods." As the name suggests, it is located in Daikanyama's tree-lined streets and suburban oasis, making it hard to believe it is only 5 minutes away from the hustle and bustle of Shibuya. Comprised of three interconnected buildings with the Magazine Street connecting the buildings, this bookstore offers endless books, DVDs, stationery, and more. Within the bookstore is also a Starbucks with outdoor seating, making it an ideal spot to soak up the sun while reading. 

 

Happy reading!

Ann Tsuchiya

Waseda '24

Undergraduate student pursuing International Liberal Studies. Born in Japan and raised in China.
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