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BOOKOFF – the best place that ever existed

This post can be summarized in one sentence:

If you are ever in Japan (and is learning Japanese), visit Bookoff.

It’s like heaven for Japanese learners. If you are thinking of buying back something for a friend that learns Japanese, forget those gift shops and go straight to Bookoff. Your friend will love you forever (I know I will).

Bookoff is like what its name suggests. Secondhand books at a cheap price. Before you scoff and say it’s just another secondhand bookstore selling old, yellowish torn books, let me tell you that I’ve never seen secondhand bookstores with newer-looking books than Bookoff. Or any secondhand bookstore with a wider collection than them. Or maybe I’m just biased cos it’s JAPANESE BOOKS and they are damn expensive here in Singapore LOL.

I first heard of Bookoff from a friend who’s damn good in Japanese and to be honest I didn’t think much of it because I had that old, small secondhand bookstore image in mind and I wasn’t really keen on going out of my way just to find one (and I assume that they are located in some small street). So it was actually out of pure coincidence that I passed by one in Osaka.

And I’ll say, you won’t miss seeing it.


With such eye-catching colors, it’s hard to miss them. Some outlets are 大型店舗, which means that they are HUGE and some sell not just used books, but used clothes, games, videos etc! 😀

So how good are the deals? Books originally priced at 590 – 700 yen (before 5% tax) are selling for between 105 – 400 yen (no tax)!!!

hehe my loot! 😀


See, they all look quite new!! Even the 卒業 novel, which was like double discounted to 105 yen only. I’m very particular about books and I hate people who dogear their books, fold them or stain them. I can only conclude that Japanese are very good to their books, from the quality of all the secondhand books I see there.

hehe anyway the store has a “normal” section where most novels are around 350-400 yen each, and there’s a 105 yen only section too. The section are separate and a book that you found in the “normal section” may also be found in the 105 yen section! I didn’t see much difference in quality (just a little), so I took the 105 yen one! ^^ There are also sections where books are at 200 yen! So go through all the sections before you purchase anything!

The selection is quite new too! Before going to Bookoff, I actually bought Invisible Rain in Kinokuniya. Damnn should have waited and save a few hundred yen!! D: D:

hehehe and I was reallyyy lucky. The store I went to had some kind of promotion going on so the employee was like giving out 20% off coupons to be used on that day only. So I manage to score 3 novels at around 800 yen, which is crazyyyy 😀

Here’s my Japanese novel collection. As you can see, to me, only two authors exist LOL. I’m a huge fan of Strawberry Night, so yeah, I need to collect the novels ><


Higashino Keigo is probably the one Japanese author that everyone will know. hehe.


I officially have more Japanese novels than Korean novels and I solemnly swear that I will not buy any more for the next few years or before I finish reading all of them, whichever comes first. ^^

When it comes to language learning, I somehow always believe I can do it. It doesn’t occur to me that self studying Japanese for a year is not “enough” to be able to start reading full adult Japanese novels. I picked up my first novel last year and have no (major) problems reading it 😀 I can read crime and detective novels in Japanese now ^^

Moral of the story is: Don’t set limits on yourself and there won’t be any limits!

hehehe have I convinced you about Bookoff?

Now put that in your to-do list for the next trip to Japan!

p.s. After Bookoff, you can no longer bear to buy anything from local Japanese bookstores lol.

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  • Reply
    10 July, 2013 at 10:05 AM

    BOOKOFF is the ultimate!!!!! Loved that place so much that I went to the store 3 times (all at different locations).
    I almost cried when I saw the price. (105 yen for a novel????!!! How is that even possible??!!!)

    • Reply
      15 July, 2013 at 11:10 AM

      me too!!!! 😀 I made it a point to step into every outlet I see lololol

  • Reply
    10 July, 2013 at 10:06 AM

    the store is international but only in america, korea, japan, and france (i wonder why? there’s a lot of japnaese people there?)

    I went to kurokuniya AFTER I went to book-off in nyc and so i just could not get myself to buy ANYTHING in kurokuniya because it’s so dam nexpensive and book-off is just such a steal with the prices AND THE QUALITY because yo know japanese people are known for being neat and clean. it really plays in eveyrone’s favor when it comes to buying used stuff.

    • Reply
      15 July, 2013 at 11:12 AM

      No idea why it’s in France too! >< Yeah, I lost interest in Kinokuniya too! And I have enough books on my hand to keep me happy for a long while!

  • Reply
    10 July, 2013 at 10:34 AM

    Oh cool. Okay I’ll go take a look. Heading to Osaka later this year, was surprised they have several outlets (I thought there was only 1. Presumably in Tokyo)


    • Reply
      15 July, 2013 at 11:12 AM

      wow Osaka is an awesome place!! 😀 Hope you enjoy your trip!

  • Reply
    Koyami Tulley
    10 July, 2013 at 11:01 AM

    Welcome to the Book-Off Club!

    I’ve gone to a few locations in Japan and luckily for me there’s one in New York, so I’m never too far away from some new books. The quality of the books always amazes me. This post reminded me that I’m a little overdue for a trip…

    Book-Off is the best!

    • Reply
      15 July, 2013 at 11:13 AM

      Lucky you! I wished we have one here too D:

  • Reply
    10 July, 2013 at 11:13 AM

    I will definitively add this to my list when I go to Japan or to NY. Whichever comes first. I hope I will have enough bases to be able to browse them for hours before choosing.

    • Reply
      10 July, 2013 at 11:46 AM

      I forgot.

      I nominated you for the Shine On award. Nothing close to the language blog one… If you are not to busy, check it out.

    • Reply
      15 July, 2013 at 11:13 AM

      wow thanks for the nomination!! 😀

  • Reply
    10 July, 2013 at 1:20 PM

    Book off is a big reason why I love to go to japan more often.

    • Reply
      15 July, 2013 at 11:13 AM

      hehe! Making any trips there soon?

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