“Kanda Jimbo-cho”the town to find rare books is also secretly known as a town of gourmet food.

The town of Kanda Jimbo-cho is located in the center of Tokyo, in the Chiyoda district. During the Meiji period (1868~1912), Tokyo University and Hitotsuabashi University were located here, so many bookshops opened up and still remained there today. Currently, there are about 170 bookshops with a large variety of genres to choose from. The Universities are still located there, so there are many good, cheap restaurants too.

2018-09-10   Visit: Charming Towns, Tokyo,

book store

“Issei-do”, a 100 year old book shop.
“Issei-do”, a 100 year old book shop.
Ukiyo-e book store “Ohya shobo”
Ukiyo-e book store “Ohya shobo”

The book town.

A treasure box of rare old books. The ‘book town’ of Kanda Jimbo-cho.

Do you like reading? I do! I love touring the second-hand bookshops, so I will introduce this ‘book town’to you. There are about 170 bookstores in town, and it’s said to be the largest book town in the world. Each shop has such a large selection, which is almost impossible to store the books on their shelves. Some of the books are out of print and include the genres of Japanese literature, foreign literature, history, art, and magazines. Each shop has a different professional field, and the genre of books they handle is unique to each store.
I found a bookstore that handles Ukiyo-e paintings. The Ukiyo-e paintings drawn during Meiji period(1868~1912)were sold at 70,000 yen to 30,0000 yen. There is also a map of Edo when Tokyo was still called Edo. The Ukiyo-e and the old map I saw looked so colorful, and it’s hard to believe that they were made over 100 years ago.

Imoya’s tempura 

Tempura teishoku 700yen

Kanda’s specialty, Imoya tempura.

If you get hungry while touring the bookstores, I recommend that you try the tempura restaurant, Imoya. They have been running their business for a long time and have two restaurants’in Kanda. They only have two menu items,“tendon”and“tempura-teishoku”. You can ask for 1 or 2 shrimp for each menu item. It’s so simple, so just order “tempura”even if you don’t speak Japanese. That’s it! Also, tempura is known as an expensive food, but Imoya’s tempura only costs 700 yen. It’s easy to see why students and young men love Imoya. I can insure that the taste is very good! The tempura is made with 4 main ingredients; shrimp, sillago, oba, and pumpkin.

Information center for Book and Town

An Information center for the books and town will help your visit to Kanda!

There are many good bookstores and restaurants in Kanda. This red colored shop is an information center for the books and the town. There is always an attendant who is familiar with Kanda. They will suggest what to do in Kanda. Please drop by if you don’t know what to go see.
One eyewitness is better than much hearsay! It’s also nice to take a whole day and walk around looking for hidden books and restaurants.


2 -16 Kanda Jinbōchō Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo

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miki iwai

miki iwai


I love Japanese traditional culture and travelling all over Japan. I also like to see Noh performances, doing calligraphy, and reading/making Japanese poems called “Tanka.” Through writing, I’d like to introduce a unique culture that only exists in Japan.


Address 2 -16 Kanda Jinbōchō Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo
Hours A.M11:00~P.M8:00
Access 3 min walk from Tokyo metro Hanzomon line/ Toei Shinjuku line”Jimbo-cho”station, Exit A3.
Phone 03-3261-6247
Website http://tabelog.com/tokyo/A1310/A131003/13000413/