OWL Magazine Korea

Kanda Jinbocho Bumpodo – The Antiquarian Bookstore Haven

In the heart of Tokyo, there’s a place known as ‘Kanda Jinbocho,’ often referred to as a used bookstore or antiquarian bookshop street. You can find bookstores of various sizes here, known for primarily dealing with used books, hence its name. Some establishments also sell extremely old publications, adding another layer to its character as an antiquarian bookshop street.

“Exploring Bumpodo (文房堂) in Kanda Jinbocho”

Kanda Jinbocho offers a variety of used bookstores, and during my visit, Bumpodo caught my eye. I decided to explore this store and share my experience.

“When read in Chinese characters, ‘文房堂’ translates to ‘Moon Bang Dang.'”

The name ‘文房堂’ read in Chinese characters means ‘Moon Bang Dang,’ with each character signifying ‘writing,’ ‘room,’ and ‘hall,’ respectively. When pronounced in Japanese, it reads as ‘Bumpodo’ or ‘Bunpodo,’ giving it a unique and poetic quality.

“Bumpodo occupies a 7-story building with different atmospheres on each floor.”

Bumpodo resides in a 7-story building, and each floor boasts a distinct atmosphere. The first floor showcases a variety of charming miscellaneous items, creating an eclectic display. On the third floor, you can find a gallery cafe with an elegant ambiance. Even the upper floors appear to be designated for specific purposes, possibly serving as office spaces. With an elevator within the store, moving between floors is convenient.

“The 3rd-floor gallery cafe exudes a nostalgic atmosphere.”

The 3rd-floor gallery cafe at Bumpodo emanates a sense of nostalgia. The ornate building adorned with classic artwork was impressive. While I visited too early for the cafe’s operation hours, I was fortunate enough to appreciate the displayed artwork.

“After enjoying the artwork, I left, impressed by the refined atmosphere.”

The overall ambiance, reminiscent of traditional tearooms found in areas like Daehak-ro or Insa-dong in South Korea, exudes a sophisticated and nostalgic atmosphere. Although it leans towards a more refined setting than these locations, it successfully captures an old-world charm. While I regretted not fully experiencing the store since it wasn’t fully operational during my visit, I made a mental note to revisit this intriguing place during my next trip to Tokyo.

“Kanda Jinbocho, Bumpodo (文房堂)”

  • Address: 1 Chome-21-1 Kanda Jinbōchō, Chiyoda City, Tokyo 101-0051, Japan
  • Phone: +81 3-3291-3441
  • Website: http://www.bumpodo.co.jp/
  • Operating Hours: 10:00 – 19:30