A Visit to Tokyo’s “Book Street” – Jinbocho

Jinbocho (sometimes also romanized “Jimbocho”) is Tokyo’s used-book and publishing center, which lies in Chiyoda Ward (aka Chiyoda City). Named after a 17th century samurai, Nagaharu Jinbō, Jinbocho covers several city blocks, all of which are lined with shops selling a variety of used, rare and out-of print books. 

Jimbocho Bookstore

Bookcases overflowing with volumes fill the shops from floor to ceiling, in rows that resemble narrow library stacks–if library stacks reached twenty feet in the air.

Jimbocho Books

Some of the shops carry Western books as well as Japanese ones. The awning over this shop reads “First Floor: Japanese Books. Second Floor: Western Books.”

Jimbocho Bookstore (1)

Coffee shops and restaurants wedged between the bookstores offer a place for shoppers to rest and replenish before returning to browsing the shops in search of readable treasures. For bibliophiles, Jinbocho is a fabulous place to spend an afternoon (and, likely, a few of your yen as well.)