Tokyo book town
This is Tokyo's Kanda Book Town. It's one of my favorite places. I wish I had all the money in the world to buy books, and a home big enough to hold them.
I call it "Jimbocho," because its easiest access is from the Jimbocho subway station. I think the JR Kanda Station is too far away for it to merit being called "Kanda Book Town." Many universities in the area lead students to dispose of old books at the shops along Yasukuni Dori (Yasukuni Avenue). There are genuine antiquarian shops, shops specializing in magazines, antique Japanese scrolls, maps, academic books of medicine and math, fine art books, comic books, coffee table books, religion. There are shops devoted to English books, others to Japanese and others with a combination of languages. The large Sanseido Bookstore is there - not a used bookstore like the others, but new, like Chapters in North America. Also the large Kitazawa Bookstore, which is a straight up, high-end antiquarian shop.
There are only three or four shops that I always return to. The vendors know my face, but they don’t know who I am. Words rarely pass between us.
One side of Yasukuni dori is dominated by large sports stores. But the opposite, on the other side, stretching from Awajicho Station on the Marunouchi Subway Line to Jimbocho Station on the Shinjuku and Namboku Subway lines are all of these bookshops, usually spilling their wares onto the sidewalks. They host a large Book Fair in October when the sidewalks become almost impassible with crowds of browsers, shoppers, collectors, and thieves.
Otemachi Station, Tokyo Station, and the Imperial Palace grounds are several minutes’ hike along city streets to the south.