Jimbocho, the neighbourhood of the old books

I had been several times around Jimbocho, near Tokyo Station, but up until recently I hadn’t had the time to enjoy the famous streets where you can find plenty of second hand books. Last month, I could finally go there and snoop around the bookstores. I wasn’t expecting to find so many stores! There are dozens of stores full of books from decades and even centuries ago, manuscripts, scrolls, old magazines, ukiyo-e art, drafts of novels by famous authors (I saw drafts of Haruki Murakami novels!), developed photographs of famous photographers, etc. I ended up buying a couple of old maps from Tokyo (handwritten maps from 90 years ago), a Daido Moriyama photograph book and another one by Nobuyoshi Araki.

These are some of the photos that I took during my visit, using my new iPhone 4.

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6 Comments
  • Brad F.

    June 17, 2011 at 12:13 am

    Looks like paradise to me. I have a fascination with old books. It’s odd that you posted this just now. Yesterday I ‘discovered’ Strand bookstore here in NYC. It was established in 1927 and sells new, used, and rare books. I didn’t go up to the rare book floor. I’m going to go back with my camera and poke around. I could live in a bookstore like that.

  • Fredrik

    June 17, 2011 at 6:38 am

    That looks so cool, I’m absolutely going there. Where did you find old Murakami drafts? I would actually be extremely interested in buying that. Though my japanese is probably not good enough for me to be able to find it on my own yet.

  • Renato Murakami

    June 17, 2011 at 11:43 am

    Probably were Yomiko Readman lives? http://www.randomwire.com/wp-content/uploads/readordie1.jpg
    Very interesting! I’d be interested in visiting if it wasn’t for my rhinitis… xD

  • Toshogu

    June 17, 2011 at 2:58 pm

    Very very interesting.

  • kirainet

    June 19, 2011 at 6:41 pm

    @Renato Murakami Haha, best screenshot 🙂

    Yes, I love the smell of old books!

  • Mike

    August 27, 2011 at 8:26 am

    Woohoo, ancient comics. I collect old British comics (1892 – around 1960’s), seeing foreign ones would be interesting too XD