PhotoBookstores FAQ

What’s PhotoBookstores (discontinued)?

It was PhotoGuide Japan’s list of major Japanese bookstores stocking a good selection of photo books. (Listing discontinued.) Besides bookstores in Japan, it also has a list of Japanese bookstores outside Japan. You can always buy books online, but it’s always nice to be able to pick up the book in a bookshop and thumb through it before buying.

Which bookstores in Tokyo have a large fine-art photo book section?

In PhotoBookstores, see Kinokuniya, Maruzen, Aoyama Book Center, Yaesu Book Center, and Sanseido.

Which bookstores in Tokyo have a large J-pop idol photo book section?

See Kinokuniya, Yaesu Book Center, Sanseido, Shosen Grande, Shosen Book Mart, and Shosen Book Tower.

Which bookstores in Tokyo have a good selection of secondhand, fine-art photo books?

See Genkido in Jimbocho.

But the best place by far is at Yahoo Japan Auctions for greater selection and lower prices. Most sellers do not ship internationally though. Fortunately, PhotoGuide Japan offers an auction proxy service. We can bid for you and ship the item to you from Japan. Details here.

Which bookstores in Tokyo have a good selection of secondhand, J-pop idol photo books?

The best place by far is at Yahoo Japan Auctions for greater selection and lower prices. Most sellers do not ship internationally though. Fortunately, PhotoGuide Japan offers an auction proxy service. We can bid for you and ship the item to you from Japan. Details here.

Which bookstores in Japan sell English books?

For the big ones, look for Kinokuniya, Maruzen, Logos, Tower Records, Tuttle Bookshop, Yaesu Book Center, and Sanseido.

I’m a book publisher in the US and I want to approach bookstores in Japan to sell my books in Japan.

Bookstores in Japan do not deal directly with publishers. They procure all their books from wholesalers who deal directly with publishers. Bookstores procure books from the wholesaler which then orders the books from the publishers. This system saves the publisher a lot of time and trouble since they don’t have to keep supplying thousands of bookstores individually in Japan themselves. The bookstore also need not deal with hundreds of publishers individually. Approaching bookstores in Japan will be useless.

So how can I sell my books in Japan or import books to Japan?

There are a few book importers that you can negotiate with. Yohan used to be the largest one until it went bankrupt on July 31, 2008. See the list of book importers in PhotoBookshops.

Where can I buy used books in Tokyo?

Kanda-Jimbocho (the biggest), Takadanobaba, Ochanomizu, and Hongo (adjacent to Univ. of Tokyo) are the major places for used books.