Make attractive, second-hand foreign books part of your life. Kitazawa Bookstore has around 12,000 used foreign books at any given time
Kitazawa Bookstore is located three minutes’ walk from Jimbocho Station. Specializing in used foreign books, the store has a long history, being established here in 1902. It carries about 12,000 used books, mainly English and American literature.
The chic store interior was renovated recently in 2018 and gives an impression of substance. Just to look at the array of books stylishly lining the shelves is invigorating. Even those who are not familiar with Western books can immerse themselves in a world that could have come out of a movie.
The fourth generation—and current—owner is Rika Kitazawa, who worked as a spatial designer within the fashion industry for 10 years. “Since I was a child, I was proud of this store, being the trusted place to buy Western books," she says. “At the same time, I had great respect for my father, who was the proprietor in those days."
“With its many shops of long standing, Jimbocho previously felt slightly insular. But now the number of newer stores is gradually increasing and the long-established stores are making new plans, so that feeling has begun to ease. Keeping community ties, and handing on the culture of the past while also embracing the new. I feel like that is the new culture of Jimbocho.”
"Kitazawa Bookstore has also begun a service called Kitazawa Display Books, which finds new value in used Western books.
This is an initiative that suggests and sells used Western books for interior decoration and display. Within the store, three shelves before the entrance are set aside as an area dealing in used books for display, and small items such as stamps and cards are also sold. They proposes ways to make Western books a part of your life."
“From a young age, I have loved being in an environment surrounded by books. I want customers to experience the comfort of a space with books," says Kitazawa. Even if you are not at ease with foreign books, try paying them a visit.