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Want to Read English Books in Japan? Here Is Where You Can Find Them!

By Yae Jul 16, 2019


Do you read books often? If you’re normally reading books in English and now since you’re living in a country whose main language is not English that means that your favorite book stores will not be here, this article will help you out where to find English books at books stores in Japan.

It’s not always easy to find English books in Japan since not all the books stores have books in English. Unfortunately, even in the Tokyo area, not all the book stores can afford English books. So, before you start walking around, spending too much time searching for stores that have English books, read this article, we’ll help you :).

Hopefully, this allows you to realise Japan is a more convenient place more than you think.


1. Finding it Hard to Find English Books in Japan?



Before talking about where to find English books in Japan, let’s summarize what kind of good effects people can have by reading books in general. People say there are mainly the following good effects of reading books:


1. You can cope with various kinds of topics (wide range) when communicating with people such as politics, history, health, business, etc. by reading books.

2. You can improve the way of expressing your feelings and choose the “right word” when you’re talking to someone by learning vocabulary from reading books.

3. You can expand your skills and way of thinking by reading books, especially from people who have been historically successful. If you want to have a successful life, what better way to get some tips and tricks from someone who has already achieved that! And had the time to write a book about it!

4. You can have a rich imagination by reading books. Books don’t have pictures anymore (well children’s books do) so us oldies need to imagine the story for ourselves by following each word in the book. This makes us more creative and imaginative. It’s fun to think up a whole place, or person.

5. Reading books is a great stress reliever. Some people think that reading books make people fall asleep since it’s boring but actually, you’re wrong. Books can take people out of this world, if they’re unhappy or stressed and need an escape, reading a book is an easy way to imagine something else, to have a break from reality.

6. Reading books makes people “wise”. Stealing knowledge and strategies from books is a very wise action. If you have a difficult problem which you think you can’t solve, maybe books can help you out.

7. Reading books makes people become “confident”. People gradually learn many new things or new information by reading books without noticing. People don’t realize that they’ve somehow gained invaluable knowledge already and that can make you feel like “YOU CAN DO IT!”


Do you agree? If you have a habit of reading books whether in English, Japanese or your mother tongue already, you may have already known about the above advantages, or if you didn’t there you go! Bet that makes you feel even better.

If you are unable to read Japanese yet, don’t stress, you can get English books in particular book stores in Japan. However, for those who have already walked around the streets and stopped by many book stores in Japan but couldn’t find any English books as of yet, please understand that you need to pick the right book stores (for there aren’t) for English books.

Let’s see what kind of book stores you can find for English books in Japan…


2. Book Off

(where to find them, how much are they, what types of books do they sell?)


 Yae’s Photo


Have you ever heard of the store called “BOOK-OFF” in Japan? This is quite a huge recycling shop which sells used books, magazines, DVD and some BOOK-OFF branches even sell used clothes, shoes, bags, jewelry, watches, etc. There are about 100 BOOK-OFF shops in Tokyo.

If you’re fine with buying used books, you can get books at a reasonable price at BOOK-OFF in Japan. There are not so many English books at BOOK-OFF but you can find ones if you’re lucky. Please remember that it’s a “first-come, first-served” style.


The shop location:

There are about 100 BOOK-OFF shops in Tokyo. Better to check the BOOK-OFF website and find the most convenient branch close to your home or with easy access.

Price Range:

100 yen-1,500 yen It depends on how popular the books are but normally you can buy them within 2,000 yen.

The types of books:

It depends on what kinds of books people sell to that BOOK-OFF but you can often find mystery storybooks, self-help books, non-fiction, and sometimes best seller books.


If you get the point card at BOOK-OFF, you can get 1 point for every 100 yen you spend and you can also use those points when you want to buy something else.


3. Good Day Books



This is one of the most famous and popular book stores called “Good Day Books” in Japan. This is a second-hand book store but it also handles new books especially Foreign books as well as English books. 80% to 90% of the customers who come here are foreigners like you! There are about 35,000 used books and about 7,000 new books you can find at this shop.


The shop location:

Asahi building 3F, 1-11-2, Ebisu, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo, 150-0013

*About 2 minute’s walk from Ebisu Station.

Price Range:

Absolutely cheaper than the original price.

Since there are too many books at this shop, it’s hard to say the price range on average but you can definitely get it cheaper.

The types of books:

Politics, philosophy, sociology, psychology, history, computer science, sports, etc.


4. Tower Records



Do you go to Shibuya often? Then why not stop by Tower Records to find English books? If you think Tower Records Shibuya handles only music-related things, you’re wrong! It also sells English books as well, on the 2nd floor of this building.


The shop location:

1-22-14, Jinnan, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo, 150-0041

*About 5 minute’s walk from Shibuya Station.

Price Range:

Normally they sell with the original price, however, sometimes they have clearance sales like 70% OFF, so better check out the TOWER RECORDS website for any valuable information in advance.

The types of books:

There is about 50,000 title of books at TOWER RECORDS. Mainly they sell English books related to music but they’re expanding the range of books based on customer’s requests. Moreover, they sell English magazines related to music as well. Another awesome thing about the English books in Tower Records is that many Japanese books have been translated into English, so you can read a traditional Japanese novel now! Or learn about an amazing Japanese Author.


5. Maruzen



Maruzen is one of the major, popular, famous book stores in Japan which also handles English books as well. This book store’s concept is “A Book Museum” and you can see about 1,000,000 Japanese books and about 120,000 foreign books in this book store. Just like the concept, it’s a huge book store like a museum, with more books than you can read!


The shop location:

Oazo building 1-4F, Marunouchi, 1-6-4, Marunouchi, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo, 100-8203

*The main store exists at Tokyo station, but there are so many branches of Maruzen, so please check the Maruzen website first to see which branch would be convenient for you to go to.

Price Range:

The books are sold with the original price.

The types of books:

So many varieties of books, such as English grammar, business, history, fiction, non-fiction, etc. The good thing about Maruzen is that you can ask for a special book adviser who can find the English book you need. Also, there is a system called M-Search which you can use to search for books by yourself.


6. Aoyama Book Center



Aoyama book store is also a classic, famous and popular book store in Tokyo. There are many kinds of English books as well as English magazines (fashion, business, etc.) If you work close to Omotesando station, it’s very close to go to this store. Also, you can see the Aoyama book store website in English, so if you’re interested, please take a look at the website.


The shop location:

Cosmos Aoyama Garden Floor (B2F), 5-53-67, Jingumae, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo, 150-0001

* About 7 minute’s walk from Omotesando Station.

* About 13 minute’s walk from Shibuya Station.

Price Range:

Normally books including English books are selling with the original price, but there is “Outlet corner” which foreign books are sold for 20-80%OFF.

The types of books:

There are many English books you can find at this store, but the concept is more related to ART. English photo books, architecture, design, children’s books, etc.


7. Kinokuniya Books, South Shinjuku Branch



This book store sells the most amount of foreign books in Japan and you definitely can’t miss it. Kinokuniya book store in south Shinjuku is normally called “Books Kinokuniya Tokyo” and if you go up to the 6th floor of this building, you will be amazed by the number of foreign books they have. You’ll see why people say this book store is the biggest one in Japan.


The shop location:

Takashimaya Times Square South Building 6F, 5-24-2, Sendagaya, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo, 151-8580

* About 3 minute’s walk from Shinjuku Station.

Price Range:

The books are sold with the original price.

The types of books:

Many kinds of books such as English novels, fiction, non-fiction, reference, picture books, art, children’s books, comics, foreign magazines, specialized books, etc. Also, there are not only English books but also French, Italian, etc. books and comics too!


8. Getting English Books Online, Shipped to Japan



It’s becoming a natural thing that people buy foods, beauty products, clothes, anything related to daily necessities and also books via online shops in Japan these days. For instance, Amazon, Rakuten, etc. However, sometimes it’s worth to go directly to the book store and pick up and take a look at the book to see if it’s the one you’re really looking for. Touching the books, reading the books a little, to see if it’s the book you really need and want. Moreover, if you go to the book store, maybe you can find other interesting books which you haven’t expected. It’s a good bargain in that case.

Meeting new books is the same as meeting new people. Online shopping is very convenient and you don’t waste time trying to find the book that you’re looking for, but what if there are other valuable books which you’re missing out on and also what you really need to change your life? Waiting at home for the delivery of your book is never as exciting as walking out of that bookstore with a new book under your arm, excited about the adventure you are about to go on.  As you can see there are some book stores selling English books, why not look around the book stores and find the best English books for you? And not only can you find English books but you might pick up a Japanese book or 2 for some inspiration.

Hopefully, you’ll discover some new worlds in books at the book stores in Japan!

Never stop learning.