Novels, Magazines, Manga and many more! Book Stores in TOKYO with Foreign-Language Books


photo by Andy Simonds

The prices of Japanese publications are rather cheap compared with those in Western countries. This may be the reason why so many Japanese people enjoy reading novels, magazines, manga etc on a daily basis. In recent years, many books written by Japanese authors have been translated into other languages and have acquired many fans all around the world. But most of the books in Japanese book shops are written in Japanese. This is quite inconvenient for non-Japanese readers, as they may wish to buy books or magazines in their language while their stay in Japan. In fact, there are book stores that sell books written in other languages. Some shops have small range of foreign books while others spare an entire floor of a building just for foreign-language literature.



TSUTAYA is commonly known as a rental DVD shop chain. But Culture Convenience Club, the parent company of TSUTAYA Group runs book shop business too, across Japan. There are many TSUTAYA book stores all over Japan, however, DAIKANYAMA TSUTAYA BOOKS and SHIBUYA TSUTAYA have outstanding range of foreign-language books, especially in design and fashion area. These are not a place to get academic books. But if you want to buy fashion and design related books, these are the best shops. 

Address: 17-5 Sarugakucho, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo 150-0033
Trading hours: 7:00-26:00 

Address: 21-6 Udagawacho, Shibuya Ku, Tokyo 150-0042
Trading hours: 10:00-26:00 


Books Kinokuniya Tokyo

Kinokuniya is one of the most famous book store chains of Japan. The group also has shops outside Japan, so you may have been to one of Kinokuniya book store in your country. There are 5 Kinokuniya Book stores out of 10 in Tokyo have foreign language books, and Books Kinokuniya Tokyo, which re-opened after renovation in 2016, have an entire floor of the building for foreign-language books, including English, French, German, Spanish, Italian and Chinese literature.  

Books Kinokuniya Tokyo
Address: 5-24-2 Sendagaya, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo 151-0051
Trading hours: 10:00-26:00 


Maruzen Marunouchi

Maruzen is one of the largest Japanese Book store chains. Out of 12 Maruzen book stores in Tokyo, Foreign-language section of Maruzen Marunouchi has the largest range of foreign books. Their range includes fiction, life style, business books, children’s books and many more. Especially, they have larger range of specialized books than other stores. 

Maruzen Marunouchi
Address: 1-6-4 Marunochi , Chiyoda Ku, Tokyo 100-0005
Trading hours: 9:00~21:00 


Junkudo Ikebukuro

Junkudo is another nation-wide size book store chain of Japan. Among other shops, Junkudo Ikebukuro utilizes an entire building as a book store, and foreign language books section is located in 9th floor. There are all categories of books including magazines, fictions, business and lifestyle in addition to academic books. Especially, they have a great range of fictions, from classics to bestsellers of the time. If you want to look for same author’s masterpieces in the past, Junkudo is the place you should visit. 

Junkudo Ikebukuro
Address: 2-15-5 Ikebukuro, Toshima Ku, Tokyo 171-0014
Trading hours: 9:00~21:00 


Ogawa Tosho

All book stores previously mentioned sell only new books, while Ogawa Tosho sells only secondhand books. They have a small number of Japanese books, however, most of their books are foreign language publications, including British and American literature, linguistic and art books, in addition to old fashion magazines, general magazines and children’s books. This is a great shop to find a great bargain of all categories and ages. Also, this shop purchases used books. 

Ogawa Tosho
Address: 2-7 Kandajimbocho, Chiyoda Ku, Tokyo 101-0051
Trading hours: 10:30~18:30, Sunday & Public holiday closed 


Happy reading!

Although there are many book stores in Tokyo that have foreign language literature, only a few of them have a decent range of foreign books. But all the book stores introduced in this column have a great collection of foreign-language books and magazines. But each shop focuses on different areas. For example, Tsutaya Group has a wide range of fashion, design and interior related books, while Maruzen and Kinokuniya have more focus on specialized books and best sellers respectively. Also, if you want to purchase secondhand books, Kandajimbocho in Chiyoda-ku is full of secondhand book shops. There are many more shops in Kandajimbocho other than Ogawa Tosho. So, if you have some free time, why don’t you go for a book-shop crawling?


Related Article:
Novels, Magazines, Manga and many more! Book Stores around OSAKA with Foreign-Language Books 





あきらことほ Kotoho Akira

Living outside Japan for a good many years, I often rediscover nice little things about this country every time I return here. I would be more than happy if this column may help you find your "nice little things about Japan"!

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