Tokyo’s Best Bookstores

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DISCOVER: Tokyo’s best bookstores

Tokyo is awash with beautiful bookstores – read on for a rundown of the very best that the city has to offer.


Possibly Japan’s best known and most loved bookstore, Tsutaya has several outposts throughout Tokyo, though the one not to be missed sits within Daikanyama’s hip retail destination, T-Site. Well-stocked and beautifully presented in a series of architecturally designed buildings, Tsutaya promises hours of happy browsing.

Daikanyama T-Site Tsutaya: 17-5 Sarugakucho, Shibuya-ku

Image: Nacasa & Partners via Dezeen


Recently grabbing headlines for its unique business model, Bunkitsu is a bookstore that’s doing things differently. Opening for business at the end of last year in Tokyo’s Minato district, the revolutionary bookstore charges a 1500-yen admission fee to combat Japan’s failing bookstores and declining book sales.

So what do you get for your hard-earned entry fee? A far-from-average bookstore/library/café/gallery hybrid, where guests can browse over 30,000 titles at leisure, sip unlimited coffee, and take advantage of the high-speed Wi-Fi.

Bunkitsu: Roppongi Denki Building 1F, 6-1-20 Roppongi, Minato-ku

Images: Bunkitsu 

Shibuya Publishing Booksellers

Tucked away on the fringes of Tomigaya – one of Tokyo’s creative hotspots – Shibuya Publishing Booksellers is a cult bookstore well worth venturing off the beaten track for. Specialising in lesser-known titles and interiors that double-up as the backdrop to numerous photo shoots, Shibuya Publishing Booksellers is a favourite amongst the city’s creative crowd.

Shibuya Publishing Booksellers: 17-3 Kamiyamacho, Shibuya-ku

Image: Alex Rebbeck

Morioka Shoten

When it comes to unique retail concepts, Morioka Shoten was shaking up the bookstore scene years before Bunkitsu. Instead of using admission fees to sustain their store, Morioka ripped up the rulebook by stocking one title at a time. Opening in 2015 on a quiet street in Tokyo’s Ginza district, Morioka Shoten is the world’s only one-book-bookstore, selling a single book at a time, with a new title each week. The minimal shop changes weekly to host a small exhibition and series of in-store events, encouraging visitors to explore the current title in depth.

Images: Nacasa & Partners, Miyuki Kaneko


Morioka Shoten: Susuzki Building 1F, 1-28-15 Ginza, Chuo-ku, Tokyo

Ohya Shobo

Finally, for those who prefer their books with a layer of dust, Ohya Shobo is home to the world’s largest collection of Japanese woodblock prints and illustrated books from the 18th and 19th centuries. Shelves lined with hand-bound books and intricate calligraphy make for hours of searching happily for the perfect souvenir.

Ohya Shobo, 1 Chome-1 Kanda Jinbocho, Chiyoda, Tokyo

Image: Alex Rebbeck

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