Book Off - Japan's Used Book Heaven

I have a major soft spot for Japanese books. Clever craft ideas, adorable illustrations, innovative photo styling and an amazing variety of subjects await. Browsing any bookstore is pretty heavenly, but I might just love browsing bookstores in Japan the most.

Of course, loving every book you pick up can get pretty pricy - and that's where Book Off comes in. Japan's beloved chain of used bookstores allows you to pick up an armload of beautiful books without throwing your travel budget totally out the window.

Since we have a Book Off in our temporary neighbourhood here in Japan, I just had to go browsing for treasures. I walked out with a wonderful assortment of craft books, magazines, kids books and a gorgeous bilingual guide to Fukuoka - all for ¥2500 (about $27 CDN).

Here's what I picked up...

Yasashii Kirigami by Kanako Yaguchi - a lovely kirigami book with international designs. Here's the English version.

Schumann the Shoeman by John & Stella Danakis - I grabbed this one for the illustrations which are totally gorgeous and collage-based but really enjoyed the story of the passionate cobbler too!

Self-made Stationery by Kazumi Udagawa - clever papercraft projects. English version here.

りんごとちよう - the Japanese version of The Apple and the Butterfly by Iela & Enzo Mari. This wordless picture book is a fantastic addition to your bookshelf in any language. It tells the tale of the lifecycle of the apple and the butterfly.

Hand & Heart magazine Issue 1 - pom poms, sashiko patterns & crochet slippers. Patterns & step-by-step instructions included.

Fukuoka d design travel - a design-oriented guide to Fukuoka's shops, restaurants and overall spirit. 

Can't wait to see what treasures I discover on my next visit!

Do you have a favourite bookstore from your travels or hometown? 


  1. Wow, it seems like you really found some gems! I will have to give Book-Off a more thorough look-through next time I stop in!

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  3. I just found your blog! Very neat. Book Off, Hard Off... Really, any store from Eco Town is amazing. My husband and I lived in Shikoku last year and I REALLY miss these stores. That and Lawson. I just can't seem to replicate the onigiri I had in Japan. Omurice and curry I have down to a science, though. 😄 Well, anyway, I'll be following from here on out. I'm glad I started looking for a tutorial on Japanese fabric book covers!

  4. I also love Japanese books but it is difficult to find them where I live. our site