WJS Magazine › CULTURE › The Town of Used Books

2018年04月27日

The Town of Used Books

by Veronika 322

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The town of Jinbocho, located in Chiyoda ward, is known

as the town of books, as there are major publishing

companies, wholesale book stores, and over 150 used

book stores located in the area. After getting some

interesting books, why not go to one of the local cafes

to enjoy the quiet reading time? In fact, there are many

unique cafes in Jinbocho, from old atmospheric shops to

bookstores-turned-cafes, making it a perfect place for

exploring Japanese cafe culture and getting some quiet

reading time.

 

Recommended route:

Jinbocho Station A7 Exit

Doce Espiga

Candy Bouquet

The Sevens House

Book House Cafe

Jinbocho Station


Distance: 2 km

Steps: 3,300

Time: 24 min + shopping, meals

Budget: 2,000 yen

 

1. Get some original Portuguese sweets!

As you leave the A5 exit of the station, you will soon

see a nice little shop - the Portuguese sweets specialty

store Doce Espiga. The owner Mrs. Takamura had

lived in Portugal for a while, and after coming back to

Japan, she wanted to spread the deliciousness of

Portuguese sweets here. At first, she started mobile

catering business around Aoyama and Hanzomon areas

on her bicycle, and in July 2017 Mrs. Takayama opened

the store in Jinbocho.

Left/The owner Mrs. Takamura and Raquel from

Portugal. Takamura opened her store to spread the

beauty of Portuguese culture.

Right/Outside of the store. As you come inside, you

are greeted with popping yellow and red colors,

making you feel like you are overseas.

If you come to the store in the evening, you might find

that most of the sweets are sold out. Usually, there are

around 5-7 types of sweets displayed in the store.

The most popular item is the creamy Egg Tart (240 yen),

but it sells out quickly, so make sure to come a bit early.

The Glaubell Coffee (380 yen) made by Raquel from

Portugal is also delicious and a recommended menu item.

 

Doce Espiga

3 Chome-2-5 Kanda Ogawamachi, Chiyoda, Tokyo

Open Weekdays 7:00-18:00

Sat 8:00-15:30

Closed on Sundays, 1st and 3rd Wednesday


2. A perfect gift - Candy Bouquet

 

As you leave the Portuguese sweets shop behind you

and head towards the next destination, you will

encounter a vast variety of stores selling fashion and

art magazines, architecture books and old books in

general.

If you find something that catches your interest, buy it

for your reading time in the cafe.


Head onwards while visiting the stores around and you

will reach a shop with a very adorable exterior. It is

Candy Bouquet - a store that sells, as the name

suggests, bouquets made from candy.

When you go inside, you are greeted with candy,

balloons and sparkly wrapping paper. Everything is so

colorful, choosing something might be quite difficult.

You can get small bouquets from 400 yen, while big

and fancy ones cost around 10,000! You can order

the gift based on the occasion and your budget.

The blue door stands out, making you come inside.

The colorful goods on display are reminiscent of

flower shops.


When buying a bouquet of live flowers, you need to

consider their handling and how long they will last, but

with candy bouquets you dont need to worry about

such things! In addition, these bouquets can be eaten.

So how about getting a delicious present for a special

someone?


Candy Bouquet Jinbocho

1-35-8 Kanda Jinbocho, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo

03-3292-0051

Open Weekdays 11:00-19:00

Sat 12:00-18:00

Closed on Sundays and National Holidays

https://www.candybouquet.co.jp/

 

3. A very retro atmosphere making you forget the time.


As you walk along the Shirayama Street towards

Takebashi, you will come across an impactful bronze

sculpture.

The historical building Gakushi Kaikan is a Registered

Tangible Cultural Property of Japan and is apparently

the place where baseball got introduced to Japan.

In this Gakushi Kaikan building is your next destination -

The Sevens House. It is a classic cafe located in this

well-kept Showa era (1926-1989) building with big

windows, high ceilings and hallway pillars.

The atmosphere of the cafe is quite nostalgic, with

smooth jazz playing in the background.

Gakushi Kaikan was built in 1928 by Teitaro Takahashi,

who is most famous for designing the current main

building of the Imperial Hotel.

The light coming from the large windows and the warmth

of the trees outside create a relaxing atmosphere

perfect for enjoying a break with a good book.

Popular items on the menu are the traditional dish

with beef and onions in a red wine sauce Hayashi

Rice (lunch time - 1,100 yen, dinner time - 1,200 yen),

and the Cream Soda (600 yen).

Hayashi Rice is made using the multi-grain rice, so it

is healthy and popular among lady customers. The

old-school cream soda is deliciously addicting.


The Sevens House

3-28 Kanda-Nishikicho, Chiyoda-ku Tokyo

03-3292-5935

Open Weekdays 9:30-23:00 (L.O. 22:00)

Weekends and Holidays 9:30-22:00 (L.O. 21:00)

https://www.gakushikaikan.co.jp/restaurant/sevenshouse/

 

4. Picture-book cafe making even grown-ups smile!

 

Walking along the Yasukuni Street, you will notice that

the types of books sold in the stores are slightly

different - mostly Western books and books on art.

Even the guardrail has pictures of books painted on it -

that is the sign of the used books capital of Japan!

Head towards Kudanshita along the street, and you will

reach a picture book store and cafe Book House Cafe.

Originally it was just a picture book store, but the

owners decided to open up a cafe in 2017.

This bookstore has a collection of around 10,000

picture books.

The middle of the store is set up as a cafe space,

where you can enjoy tea or coffee with a nice picture

book.

Even though it is a picture book store, this place attracts

many adult customers as well.

Along the walls and up to the ceiling there are around

10,000 books in the store. These picture books come

from both Japan and overseas, some of them old

classics and some of them - new releases. These books

can be enjoyed by adults as well as children.

You can find a gallery of original pictures from the books,

a diaper changing and breast-feeding space, and a kids

corner, making this place suitable for families. They also

organize book reading events in the store, so be sure to

participate.

During daytime the store operates as a cafe and in the

evening it turns into a bar, so it is a good place for

relaxing all day long.


Book House Cafe

2-5 Kanda-Jimbocho, Chiyoda-ku Tokyo

03-6261-6177

Open Weekdays 11:00-23:00

Weekends and Holidays 11:00-19:00

https://www.bookhousecafe.jp/

 

Jinbocho is most well known for its bookstores, however

there are plenty of fancy cafes you could visit even by

yourself. If you are a book lover, you can spend your day

walking around and visiting stores for that perfect

publication. If you dont care about the books that much,

you can enjoy the many cafes and restaurants Jinbocho

has to offer. We guarantee you will find something new

and exciting every time you go to this area.


MAP



Original article in Japanese

https://sanporge.com/jinbochocafe/

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