Toystore and Bookstore in Tokyo?
January 31, 2008 2:02 PM   Subscribe

I am in Tokyo as we speak, on business for two more days. I am in the Kayobacho district, one metro stop away from Ginza... though Saturday will see me taking an early train to Kamakura. I am looking for two things: an amazing toy store and an amazing bookstore. Suggestions?
posted by silusGROK to Travel & Transportation around Tokyo, Japan (9 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
This one is EASY!

Hakuhinkan toystore is in Ginza, close to Shimbashi. Just go to the main Ginza exit and ask the policeperson there "Hakuhinkan"? [hah-ku-heen-kahn]" (or take a taxi from Kayabacho, same thing).

hmmm, bookstore is more difficult. Kinokuniya has branches in Shibuya and Shinjuku.

Also, there's a GREAT -- I mean UNIQUELY AWESOME -- spaghetti place in Kayabacho, it's in a small building right on the canal one block off the main drag (Showa-dori IIRC). If it's still there (haven't been there since 2000) it's called "Blue Planet" or something and features a slightly kitschy aquatic theme inspired by Le Gran Blu movies.

Anyhoo, their sauces are beyond awesome and they have spaghetti-making down to a science.
posted by panamax at 2:11 PM on January 31, 2008 [1 favorite]

Kiddy Land in Omotesando is a huge and fun toy store.
posted by Mr Bunnsy at 2:31 PM on January 31, 2008

Panamax is 100% correct about Hakuhinkan. However, as a Junkudo partisan I cannot let the Kinokuniya recommendation stand unchallenged. Junkudo's branch in Shinjuku is apparently the biggest but I prefer the one in Ikebukuro because it has more floors. (Why not visit both in Shinjuku? Then you will truly feel the superiority of Junkudo!)

On the other hand, if you wouldn't mind if all the books were secondhand, you should go to Jimbocho. It's a used bookstore area. Most of the places there sell only Japanese books, but there are a few that sell books in other languages too. Less immediately impressive than a single building crammed full of shiny new books, but once you start to grasp the whole picture, man. (Better still if you have a map or guide or both to direct you to stores who deal with books on topics that interest you.)
posted by No-sword at 2:36 PM on January 31, 2008

Jimbocho is interesting to be sure. But are you looking for books in English? If so your best bet is Good Day Books, in Ebisu, a short jaunt around the Yamamoto from Tokyo station, which is quite close to Ginza.
posted by Rash at 3:01 PM on January 31, 2008

I was going to suggest Toy Park in Ginza, but it turns out Hakuhinkan *is* Toy Park. So, thirding Hakuhinkan. Oh, you're going to have fun.
posted by runtina at 3:22 PM on January 31, 2008

I really really enjoyed Kiddyland! I went back twice!

I had a good time looking at English books in Tower Records, Shibuya... the top floor (but that said I'd never been to a Tower before, so take my delight with a pinch of salt.)
posted by teststrip at 3:58 PM on January 31, 2008

As mentioned, Jimbochou is the used books area, lots of goodies there, but not necessarily in English.

English books, Parrot in Takanobaba maybe?
posted by lundman at 7:15 PM on January 31, 2008

There's a huge bookstore called Maruzen next to Tokyo station which is a 15 minutes walk from Ginza.
The adress is :
Maruzen Marunouchi Main (1-6-4 Marunouchi, Chiyoda-Ku 100_0005; 1F-4F
Marunouchi OAZO, block northwest of JR Tokyo Marunouchi North Exit.
There's a map on how to get there on the official website of the building.
The bookstore is in a fairly new building close to the exit that is going towards the emperor's palace. The building's name is Oazo and i would expect any cop in the area know where it is.
posted by SageLeVoid at 9:58 PM on January 31, 2008

Also i forgot to link to this. It's a text guide to bookstores in central tokyo.
posted by SageLeVoid at 10:01 PM on January 31, 2008

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