So many books in one place? The Kanda Used Book Festival is being held until Monday, November 4th!

During the Kanda Used Book Festival which is held at the book town Jimbocho, about 200 bookstores bring their bookshelves or boxes full of books outside and line them up. Here, you can purchase rare used books, maps, prints, and foreign publications at a special price. Watching the crowd, the many sellers and the piles on piles of books is quite impressive! Let me introduce some of my favorite bookstores in this article!

A bookstore specializing in children’s picture books

Book House Cafe at Jimbocho

“Book House Cafe” is a charming bookshop with a cafe area in its center where you can eat and drink surrounded by picture books. I don’t know what it is about picture books, but it really makes me feel happy when looking at all the beautiful and creative artworks and all the books trying to convey a positive message to children. You are allowed to read books you have purchased at the cafe as well as the books in the “book introduction corner” of the cafe.

The variety of illustrated books at “Book House Cafe” is very impressive

Please order something to drink or to eat when using the cafe space. They also have an English menu.

When I was looking at the picture books, I remembered the time when I first started studying Japanese. During that time I used to buy the Japanese version of a picture book that I liked when I was a child. I would read the book while studying Japanese words.

The displays are sooo cute!

Because books for small children tend to have shorter sentences and easy-to-understand pictures, they are fun to read. Also, you actually manage to read “a whole book”, which is an encouraging accomplishment. The books helped me study Japanese without stress.

And don’t forget the picture books of Japanese authors. They are really cute, too!! Everyone who is studying Japanese or who is interested in Japanese picture books and illustrations by local artists should check out “Book House Cafe”!

Upper left: The sample book bookshelf. Lower left: The cafe’s highlight is its delicious curry bread.
Book House Cafe
Kitazawa Building 1F, 2-5 Kanda Jimbocho, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo
Google Maps:

Looking for used English books?

There is another nice bookstore inside the same building as “Book House Cafe”.

Kitazawa Bookstore

There is a myriad of old books lined up in the bookshelves of this bookstore, looking as if it came straight out of a Harry Potter movie. The store has a lot of English books, especially books related to Japanese studies and translations of Japanese classics. The Kanda Furumoto Festival has a big sale once a year, so be sure to check it out!

Kitazawa Bookstore
Kitazawa Building 2F, 2-5, Kanda Jimbocho, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo
Google Maps:

Don’t forget to check out the Kanda Used Book Festival, held until November 4th (Mon)!
(Past article:
And if you find your favorite book, how about reading it at a retro cafe in the bookstore area!
(Past article:

The 60th Kanda Used Book Festival (Kanda Furuhon Matsuri)
October 25 (Friday)-November 4 (Monday, National Holiday) 2019
Venue: Around Jimbocho Station