By Kasia Szumna
Speakers of the English language can rejoice: it is indeed possible to find something to read in Tokyo!
...that's being dramatic, of course. There are a fair number of bookstores around this metropolis that have English-language books. What sets Maruzen apart from them is its amazing variety, access to brand new publications, and reasonable prices.
Simply put, Maruzen has everything. There are novels, memoirs, and travel guides. There is an in-depth collection of books ranging from business to fashion to classical artwork. There is a good collection of kids' books, language textbooks, and self-help books. For manga lovers, there is a big section devoted to English translations of popular Japanese comics.
It's also striking how up-to-date everything is. Maruzen does a great job of acquiring brand new publications, which is not all that common for bookstores in non-English speaking countries. You can find the newest magazines that everyone is talking about, and the books currently on the bestseller's lists. You can even pick up today's newspapers.
There is also a lot of other things going on in the Maruzen store. It has many floors of Japanese books, of course. On the first floor, there is a small department selling an interesting collection of items ranging from high-end binoculars to globes to neckties. The English books are located on the top floor, along with a cafe, a small art gallery, and an exhibition area that features different themes, from ancient pottery to contemporary artwork.
Another great thing about Maruzen is its extremely convenient location. Located near Tokyo Station and Nihombashi Station, it's extremely convenient for those living and working in Tokyo, and also for tourists and travelers who will likely be coming through this area to connect to the shinkansen (bullet trains) or other transportation to and from the airports. Note that Maruzen is a major chain in Japan, but the information and photos of this article pertain to the large branch in this area.
As for the prices, they're not bad. Imported books are never cheap, but you can certainly do much worse at other stores around Tokyo.
Maruzen is located directly next to Exit B3 of Nihombashi Station (Toei Asakusa Line, Tokyo Metro Ginza Line, and Tokyo Metro Tozai Line), and is a 4 minute walk from the Yaesu South Exit of Tokyo Station (Basically every JR train and bullet train line, and the Tokyo Metro Marunouchi Line).
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