Tokyo, for a very long time, was a city with very little choice regarding English-language bookshops. Much-loved locations such as Good Day Books in Ebisu and later Gotanda and Takadanobaba's legendary Blue Parrot are now gone and sadly missed by many graying expats. It's true to say that the situation has changed a lot since our last rundown on the capital's best bookstores back in 2015.
That's not to say that you can't get your hands on any English books, magazines, Japan guides, dictionaries or phrase books in Tokyo. Let us guide you in the right direction with this list of the capital's best English book destinations.
1. Books Kinokuniya Tokyo
Kinokuniya (one of Japan's biggest and most-loved book chains) used to hold English books, mostly, in its Shinjuku branch nearby Shinjuku Station's East Exit. It always had a respectable amount of English titles, magazines and newspapers.
In 2014, however, Kinokuniya opened up its own separate English books floor near Takashimaya department store. It's become a central hub for the capital's bibliophiles and in addition to its well-stocked shelves hosts author meet-and-greets and book readings, making it number one on our list.
Books Kinokuniya Tokyo: Takashimaya Times Square South Building 6th floor, 5-24-2
2. Infinity Books
Over in Asakusa, in Tokyo's eastern quarter, Infinity Books has made a name for itself with a fine selection of used books from almost every genre imaginable. From horror and biographies to science fiction and the occult, Infinity Books has pretty much everything.
It also has, and this is crucial, a well-stocked bar of alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks. So what better than spending a few hours peacefully walking the aisles of this wee gem and then finishing off with a hard-earned drink?
Infinity Books: 1-2-4 Azumabashi, Sumida-ku
3. Maruzen in Marunouchi Oazo
Maruzen is one of Japan's best-loved book chains with branches scattered across the city. A few steps from Tokyo Station, bibliophiles will find a modern and well-stocked Maruzen within the Marunouchi Oazo shopping and restaurant complex.
Its English language (and other foreign language books) floor is huge and stocks new titles in addition to newspapers, magazines, journals and stationery. It's the ideal spot to stock up on reading material before a long shinkansen trip and for quieter evenings stuck in a hotel.
Maruzen: 1-4F Oazo Shops & Restaurants, 1-6-4 Marunouchi, Chiyoda-ku
4. Junkudo Ikebukuro
Ikebukuro isn't usually associated with culture. However the mammoth Ikebukuro branch of Junkudo is well worth a visit. With nine floors devoted to books, magazines, kids titles and more, it's any book lover's dream come true.
The building's top floor is pretty much devoted to English language books, magazines and newspapers and hosts the latest novels and non-fiction work from the English language world's best authors.
The kids section is huge, compared to other stores, so if you're looking for a birthday or Christmas book for a young'un then Junkudo will almost certainly have you covered.
Junkudo Ikebukuro: 2-15-5 Minamiikebukuro, Toshima-ku
5. Tower Records Shibuya
Things have changed over at Tower Records. A much-needed refurb a few years back saw the foreign language section moved from the 7th floor to a more compact position next to the cafe on the 2nd floor.
Tower Records English section has become more known for its comprehensive English magazine selection, particularly fashion and lifestyle titles such as Vogue, GQ and Monocle though it still plays host to a neatly curated section of English novels and nonfiction titles.
Tower Records Shibuya: 1-22-14 Jinnan, Shibuya-ku