Tokyo’s Jimbocho District is many things to many people, and you are bound to find something to your liking there–especially if reading is your cup of tea, or you just enjoy a cup of tea (or sake, or coffee) while reading. Whatever your passion, you will be welcomed there! Let’s go over some of the highlights.
This cozy cat welcomes you to J-townphoto by *_* (Guilhem Vellut) on Flickr
A Cornucopia of Books
“Books, books everywhere, and lots of time to think!” That should be the motto in this district, which honestly boasts more books than I have ever seen in my life. They come in every variety, from hot off the presses to antique, manga or novel, erotic or scientific, anything for the voracious reader in you! Even if you can’t read Japanese, you’ll enjoy hunting around for an exotic tome perfect for bringing back and wowing your friends and family.
Perfect for packrats, readers and reader-packrats…photo by Antonio Tajuelo on Flickr
…who are willing to spend the time looking!photo by perke on Flickr
You may need to get close to find your treasure, though.photo by emmamccleary on Flickr
A Smattering of Galleries and…a Used Guitar Store?!
Even if you’re not comfortable picking out an unreadable Kanji souvenir, have no fear—some stores sell gallery-sized prints of classic Hokusei images and woodcuts. If books and paintings really aren’t your thing, it might be worth checking out the old guitar store in the area. Might have trouble bringing one of these back to your country, but that’s entirely up to you!
Be on the safe side with woodcut prints…photo by perke on Flickr
…Or bring home one of these bargain babies! If you can fork the cash.photo by perke on Flickr
Coffee and Cafes…
After buying your books or nick-nacks, you’ll naturally want to find a café or bar that suits your fancy so that you can sit and enjoy them, right? There are so many options, both on and off the main street. For me it’s not so much the place as it is the time—Jimbocho is best experienced in late afternoon or near-twilight, sitting near a window with the beverage of your choice.
Charming despite the impossible menuphoto by ehnmark on Flickr
C’mon, you know you wanna have a drink herephoto by *_* (Guilhem Vellut) on Flickr
Mysterious, inviting and romantic all in onephoto by OiMax on Flickr
…And Curry, Oh My!
But why just drink when you can stuff your face while drinking? Jimbocho must be famous for its curry, because there are enough varieties there to put it in serious running for “the curry capitol of Japan” position. Scroll down for some mouth-watering options.
Chicken curry…Not for the faint-hearted!photo by *_* (Guilhem Vellut) on Flickr
Pork Curry…pig out!photo by *_* (Guilhem Vellut) on Flickr
Hamburger Soup Curry…Have your curry and scarf it, too!photo by *_* (Guilhem Vellut) on Flickr
Whether you have a few hours to kill for treasure-hunting or just want great coffee and curry, Jimbocho is the place to do it. Heck, bring your own book if you want! Just don’t tell anybody, OK? 😉