In the area of my hotel is the Kanda second-hand books area. I did not even know about this until I was exploring on my first day in Tokyo and found streets lined with book stores. As an avid reader and book lover, this was like finding a little piece of heaven. On quick looks into these stores though… of course the books were mostly in Japanese. Many old Japanese textbooks and non-fiction books lined the book shelves. And the beautiful thing about Asia (well, Seoul and Tokyo so far) is that people seem to still love to read too as all the stores had a good handful of patrons.
I had actually gone to Tokyo with the intention of visiting a bookstore while I was in town. My favourite book is the Canadian novel of Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery. And I had known/heard for many years that there is a really big fan following in Japan. It’s definitely still a thing. In a new children’s book store that I found, I was browsing at the books on their Favourites book shelf section… and I found an entire mini area decided to my favourite book.
I am absolutely in love with the Japanese editions of the book. Some of them included a very anime-looking version of Anne in the pictures throughout the book. And I had to exercise the most self-control in my life when I decided upon one copy – and not just buying them all up and blowing all my money in Tokyo within the first day.
I bought the little copy down in the right corner – and it’s the prettiest little illustrated copy of the novel ever. Of course, I can’t read Japanese… but it’s probably my new favourite out of all the copies that I have. It’s actually something that I want to do – find different editions, in different languages of this book.
The rest of the bookstore was really neat – so many different children’s classics that I recognized but in Japanese. They had a nice reading area in the middle of the store and on a second day that I came back to browse, there was a book signing happening here as well.