English paperbacks are available in Ueno(Tokyo)! STORY STORY UENO - a nice bookshop, which can be a meeting spot!
"Story Story Ueno", a bookshop operated by Yurindo, is located on the basement floor of the Marui building near Ueno Station. It is a spacious bookstore where you can take your time choosing books.
I was actually on my way to MUJI on the B2 floor when I passed by. What stopped me in my tracks was the paperback section.
There aren't that many, but there are some rather famous foreign books, such as Steve Jobs' books, that you can't help but pick up.
There are also seven or eight special fair sections here and there with books and magazines (all in Japanese) on seasonal and topical themes, which are fun to browse. Even though I visited here with no particular purpose, time flew by.
In early October, close to Halloween, there was a section of Halloween-related books. Books such as "Children's Handmade Costumes", "Halloween Cookbook", "Halloween Culture Magazine", "Witch Forest" and picture books such as "Ghost Mansion" were desplayed there.
There was also a special section entitled 'Animals, Fish, the Park, the Museum, the World and Us'. There, you could find a variety of fun books such as 'Aquarium Tour', 'The World's Dream Zoo', 'Shark Compendium', 'The World's Greatest Animal Photographs' and so on!
And, a section entitled 'Eyes on Life, Eyes on Design' exhibited books on design and the environment.
There was also a section with a collection of mythology books, and a section of books about medieval European!
Of course, there are also many comic books (manga books) .
There are books of all genres (including lots of cookery books!), but as Ueno is home to a number of museums, art galleries and a zoo, there seem to be good art-related books. If you drop in after visiting the National Museum, the Museum of Western Art or the Ueno Zoo, you may be able to find interesting books/photo books which are related to the art or animals you have just seen!
This bookshop sells not only books, but also general merchandise based on the concept of 'proposing a new lifestyle', and has pop-up stores on the same floor with fun stationery and other interesting goods from around the world.
The shop also occasionally holds workshops called 'Art Bar Lab', and participants can enjoy various art-making activities in the shop's event space. Everyone from children to adults can enjoy.
(If you want to take part in, you have to have a reservation. For a detailed schedule, see here >> Art-bar (In Japanese))
The concept of this bookshop, STORY STORY UENO, is "to propose a place where you can find 'a more enjoyable you than yesterday' through books, goods and events". It is a innovative bookshop that really feels like that.
It's a good place to stop by on your way to explore the Ueno area (Asakusa, Yanaka, Sendagi and Nezu) or to meet with your friend in Ueno! It is very empty and quiet on weekdays and is like a hidden spot!
Open hours: 10:00 - 20:00
The closing days: follow the closing days of the Marui building