Jimbocho is a haven for any bookworms who visit Tokyo – the area is well known for the immense variety of used bookstores which sell any type of literature from English language novels to reference books and traditional Japanese literature. Most of what is on offer is cheap too, so you can pick up some really good bargains. I don’t actually read much, and I need to learn more Kanji before I can even attempt to read any Japanese literature, however, I just love the area and it happens to be one of my favourite places to visit in Tokyo. There are 2 stores in particular that stand out from the rest. The first store sells old Japanese magazines (in particular music magazines, the woman who runs the store is actually a bit of a metal head, she’s really friendly though) and movie books (thin books released for promotional purposes in Japan, they contain interviews with actors, directors, general information on merchandise etc). From this shop I picked up a real bargain, a Project A-ko promotional movie book for only 105 Yen, containing interviews with just about every important person involved in the film’s production. Project A-ko merchandise is pretty much non-existent back in England so I was really, really pleased when I found it!! Kirk Hammet of Metallica has even been to this store, and they have a photo of him in the shop to prove it!! The other store which I love to visit is actually a store selling old Japanese literature as well as art (focusing on the darker side of life, the reason why I like the art so much is because it is of traditional Japanese demons and monsters). I haven’t asked the store owner about the books yet, but I really ought to soon.
It’s also worth mentioning that Ochanomizu is an easy 5 minute walk from Jimbocho, which will be of interest to any musicians (especially guitarists) as Ochanomizu is home to probably the largest concentration of instrument stores in Tokyo!