Attracting cat fans from all over Japan, “Jimbocho Nyankodo” is a bookstore specializing in cat-themed books. The shop always offers over 2000 cat books, such as photo books, practical books on cat care, picture books, and other unique books. And they have the cutest cat items, such as stationery and bags. It’s a must-visit!
“Jimbocho Nyankodo” faces the Jimbocho intersection. Originally, the bookstore was a standard bookstore called “Anekawa Bookstore”. One day, the owner’s daughter, a big cat-lover, suggested setting up a cat-themed book area in one corner of the store. Her idea was a hit, and slowly the cat books became more and more until the bookstore was full of cat books. The store became so famous, that it even became the set of a tv drama about a cat-themed bookstore.
No matter where you are in the store, cats are “looking at you”. Why? That’s because the shop owner placed most of the books with the cover facing upwards. Thanks to this idea, it’s easy to find books that interest you. Some customers spend several hours in the store!
If you (can) read the handwritten explanation cards placed everywhere in the store, you will understand the shop owner’s and his daughter’s deep love for cats even more. Also, the explanations are good hints for choosing the perfect book for you.
Check out these books!
One of Japan’s big cat book trends is called “Hesoten”. These are photo books of cats lying on their back facing their bellies upwards. Super cute!
I was surprised to find DIY and handicraft books for creating cat-themed items. Even though the books are in Japanese, most of them have a lot of pictures, so you can use them even if you don’t understand Japanese.
I also loved the picture books. One of the book’s explanations said “You will cry like a waterfall”. So I picked up the book… and almost cried.
I was astonished to learn that the cat-loving owner’s daughter had created an official “Cat Test (Neko Kentei)”. The shop sells two books to help you study for the test (beginner and advanced level). Up to now, more than 13,000 people (2021) have already taken the cat test. The goal of this test is “aiming to make the time spent together with cats richer and more wonderful through knowledge of cat ecology and living”.
Cat art and cat goods
Cat illustrations and works from past cat photo exhibitions are displayed everywhere in the store. What catches the eye is the large work “Forest Cat Tree” near the entrance. It was created by the illustrator Tamami Kumakura during a live painting event at Nyankodo. If you like her work, don’t forget to check out the original goods on sale inside the shop.
In the end, I bought some files and a tote bag with a super funny illustration of a cat that made me laugh.
If you are a cat fan like me, you will surely be crazy about adorable cat-themed books and original goods! So don’t forget to visit “Jimbocho Nyankodo”, the best cat bookstore in Japan!