Rediscover Jimbocho: A walk through Tokyo’s historic book town

With around 200 bookstores, Jimbocho is also known as the “City of Books.” With its many second-hand and specialized bookstores, historic buildings, retro cafes, and unique stores, Jimbocho is a very deep part of Tokyo that allows you to make new discoveries every time you visit the neighborhood.

Kanda Suzuran-Dori Street

Our stroll through Jimbocho starts in Kanda Suzuran-dori Street, where many unique bookstores gather. Pass the shopping street and turn left at the Surugadaishita Crossing, and on the edge of Yasukuni-Dori Street, you will find even more bookshops and historical buildings.

Kanda Suzuran-Dori Street. This is where our walk starts!
When walking down the street, take a closer look. You will find little suzuran (“lilies of the valley”) everywhere.
One of many historical buildings along Kanda Suzuran-Dori Street. Today it is a soba noodle restaurant.

Book and City Information Center

If you go to the “Book and City Information Center” on Kanda-Suzuran-Dori Street, you can get information about new book releases as well as brochures and city maps of Jimbocho.

Samples of newly published books
Bookstore Information Magazine. An English version is also available!
Book and City Information Center (inside the Shogakukan Gallery)
1-15 Kanda Jimbocho, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo
Google Maps:

Jimbocho is a city for treasure hunters!


With a history of over 130 years, “Books Tokyodo” is one of the most traditional stores in Jimbocho. The building itself has been renewed though.

The light blue window frame is the store’s trademark.

On the ground floor, there is a book sales area on one side, and the “PAPER BACK CAFE” offering lots of delicious menus on the other side. The books are presented thematically. Once invested in a topic, you won’t be able to leave the store without a new book!

There was an illustration in the shop window that was drawn by my favorite manga artist Miri Masuda herself!
The drinks menu of the cafe lists a beverage called “Cream Soda”, something that every Japanese person should get nostalgic feelings about. Why don’t you try it?
Paper Back Cafe
1-17 Jimbocho, Kanda, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo
Google Maps:

Along Kanda Suzuran-Dori Street

Besides the bookstores, I found many interesting things and funny sights along Kanda Suzuran-Dori Street!

Old & new stacked on top of each other?! Take a closer look at the building that is home to the old-fashioned “Bunbodo” and a rather modern-looking “topping”
A lot of different cute items are sold on the first floor of the Books Sanseido.
Look at these little fellows! Wouldn’t you want to adopt one for your own home too?
Bonsai trees
Taking a photo together with the character “Jimboro”.

Off to Yasukuni-Dori Street

Turn left at Surugadaishita Crossing and walk along Yasukuni Dori Street.

This street with its many historic buildings is home to many bookstores that have been in business for a long time.

This wall has a map listing all historic second-hand bookshops along Yasukuni-Dori Street. There are many long-established bookstores in Jimbocho that have been open since the 1870s.
The treasure hunt continues!

An impressive book display in an antiquarian bookshop

“KOMIYAMA TOKYO” sells retro magazines from the USA and Europe

Hara Shobo

“Hara Shobo”, is specialized in ukiyo-e, hanga prints, and books on ukiyo-e.

Hara Shobo, which opened in Jimbocho in 1932, is a bookstore specializing in books on Chinese oracle studies as well as ukiyo-e. The store has a wide variety of affordable works such as ukiyo-e prints, new prints, and reprints, as well as premium products. Japanese hanga woodblock prints are a great decoration for your home and also make a nice gift!
The prints for sale can also be viewed online.

Hara Shobo
Hara Shobo
2-3 Kanda Jimbocho, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo
Google Maps:

In addition to books, some stores also sell retro items such as old brushes, stones for carving stamps, and kokeshi wooden dolls. Seen in the Sawaguchi Bookstore
Yaguchi Bookstore, a famous bookstore with an outward-facing bookcase built into the wall of the building.

How did you like our excursion through Jimbocho? Jimbocho is not only interesting for bookworms but also exciting for foodies, retro fans, and people who like taking unique pictures. Jimbocho can be enjoyed in many ways! Please visit Jimbocho on a sunny day and stroll around town. You are sure to find a treasure too!