You go to a big bookstore in Japan and you can find any and every kind of book. I'm not going to explain the whole history of publishing in Japan, but instead I’m going to introduce to you what bookstores in Japan are like.
Book Store Keibunsha Ichioji (English) - http://www.keibunsha-store.com/about/en
Book Store Maruzen Kyoto (Japanese) - http://www.bal-bldg.com/kyoto/maruzen.html
Book Store Tsutaya Umeda (English) - http://real.tsite.jp/umeda/english/
Yes, these stores are my favorite. Comfy structures, lights are placed nicely, and most importantly the line-up of books is awesome. My last visit to Tsutaya Shoten, I found a full set of the recent “World Literature” series edited by Natsuki Ikezawa. I bought one from the series, a compilation of “To The Lighthouse” by Virginia Woolf and “Wide Sargasso Sea” by Jean Rhys.
Not only bookstores, but also publishing companies are awesome in Japan. It's almost unbelievable that you can read “A Voyage To Arcturus” by David Lindsay, published in 1920. According to Wikipedia, the original version sold no more than 596 copies. I really can't imagine how this novel survived and came into my hands. Besides that, it’s even translated into Japanese!
Japan has its own literature of course. The flow of time lessens the number of works by lesser-known authors, but works of famous classics and reliable authors like Souseki Natsume, Yasunari Kawabata, Junichiro Tanizaki can always be found in any bookstore. Besides Japanese literature, there is often a corner that sells foreign books. Here you might also be able to find some works by Japanese authors which are translated into English or other languages as well.
On top of that, original overseas books are directly imported and sold at these bookstores as well. At Maruzen in Kyoto, I was lucky enough to find “Inherent Vice” by Thomas Pynchon, “Galápagos” by Kurt Vonnegut, and “Pride and Prejudice” by Jane Austen.
It seems like any type of book is translated and sold in Japan. You can buy and read books written around the world. If you can't read Japanese it doesn't matter, you can buy something and keep it on your bookshelf. They will be your talisman.
Visit any bookstore while you stay, and see the great variety of written works. Hope you find something!
Use the Izanau Concierge service – Japanese “omotenashi” at its finest!
The free-to-use Izanau Concierge service acts as your own personal assistant in Japan. Have a specialist make hotel or restaurant reservations, provide recommendations on shopping and gift purchases, or plan and coordinate trips while in Japan!
Speak with an Izanau Concierge representative on live chat or download the App and let us assist you with a request today!