With such numbers of sellers, unsurprisingly pretty much every subject is covered, mostly in Japanese but also in English and to some extent other European languages. Among them is Kagerou Bunko run by Ryu Sato. "I opened it in 2002 as a bookstore specialising in illustrated western and Japanese books, around half and half,” he explains. “For the last four years we have been actively participating in foreign book fairs and have produced many catalogues in English. The rare books we stock are generally Japanese which helps us to stand out from the crowd at overseas events, but we also have a smattering of Chinese, Korean, and western rare books as well."
According to bilingual Rose Counsell, who also works at Kagerou Bunko: “Jimbocho is a unique area of Tokyo where discoveries are around every corner! Because of the sheer number of booksellers, specialities are fairly clearly delineated. This means that even if a bookshop doesn’t have what you’re looking for, chances are they can still tell you where to get it.”
Kagerou Bunko is at 3-26-3 Ogawamachi, Kanda, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo, and will also be exhibiting at Firsts: London's Rare Book Fair at Battersea Park in London in June.