Book lovers say horray! We’ve found the perfect haven for you in Jimbocho, the second-hand book capital of Tokyo. Its location is a niche for those book lovers and students alike, since it is strategically located between universities. Name it, from trade books, paperbacks and leather bounds of all sorts of genre, any bookwork will surely give a little squeal like a kid-in-a-candy-store moment.
And with great books come its greatest compliment, a cup of perfect joe. Lo and behold, Jimbocho has a wide array of coffee shops to settle and get lost into a new world as written in your mint or not-so-mint-but-definitely-worth-reading books. Before we go any further, here are the top places to dine or grab a coffee to indulge with your new purchases.
Heading our list of some of the well-loved café’s within Jimbocho is Sabouru, which is a kissaten (or the Japanese term for traditional Japanese cafe). Its quaint interior is laden with all sorts of knick-knacks smacked right in a cottage like a shop. One unique thing about Sabouru’s morning coffee is that it is served with peanuts, which apparently is a custom in Ethiopia, known to be a coffee growing region. The café also serves breakfast and snacks and is frequented by students looking for a study nook.
Another popular place to get your dose of caffeine is Paperback Café, which is housed at the century-old bookstore Tokyodo. Want to finish work but hate the office atmosphere? This is the spot for you. The café serves affordable coffee and sandwich sets.
For a more rustic coffee-roaster experience, head on to Glitch, which will welcome you with a waft of coffee smell, burlap sacks of all sorts of coffee beans and five options of aero-brewed coffee variants.
If you are craving for some lunch or dinner treats, one can savor some currylicious treats at Yamituki Curry, which serves authentic Japanese curry. Another curry restaurant to do the rounds is Bondy. Kai, meanwhile serves a piping hot bowl of miso ramen while gyoza is the queen of Kanda Gyoza Honten. For those craving for deep fried meaty goodness, Gyukatsu offers beef cutlet to as large as triple servings.
If izakaya dining and craft beer is your thing, then head on to the basement and chow Okinawan delights in Gachimaya. The house specialty includes the Okinawan heirloom pig or Agu pork. Each fare is served light and fresh, true to Okinawan dinning style. This restaurant also serves select beer options from Nanto and Miyakojima breweries as well as novelty craft brews.
Speaking of craft brews, another craft beer place to raid is the Craft Beer Market Terrace, which boasts of 30 taps both of Japanese and international origins.
Who says a good book and good food do not mix? Jimbocho begs to differ. This district will not only nourish your mind with all the book and brain food it offers. It will also satiate your appetite for good food and great coffee and a heaping selection of thirst-quenching craft beers. Definitely a must in your Tokyo food guide. ‘Til our next foodventure!
Aleli is a wanderlust whose main itinerary is to culture soak in the places that she sets foot on, sinking her teeth in the gustatory offerings that the place has to offer and knowing the story behind it. Food for her is a marriage of the sights, sounds, smells, and tastes of the rich history of every city she explores and uses the pen as her tool to share to the world each unique experience she unravels.