Where to Find Art, Design and Photography Books in Tokyo
Bookshops, Galleries and Libraries for Creatives
Here's where you can explore collections of artful books and find inspiration for your next creative project in Tokyo.
If you’re a creative with a passion for art, design and photography, Tokyo has a goldmine of books for you to dig out the shelves and dust off. Libraries, art galleries and bookshops old and new house inspiring books that can be appreciated, regardless of Japanese fluency. Here’s where you can explore collections of artful books and find inspiration for your next creative project in Tokyo.
Tucked away within the Tokyo Photographic Art Museum is a library full of rare moving picture books, photography books, visual arts books and exhibition catalogs. The museum itself specializes in photography and video, offering visitors an opportunity to explore over 36,000 astounding works. The library is a warm space with wooden bookshelves, desks and chairs, as well as a dedicated librarian, inviting you to settle in and browse its collections from Japan and around the world.
Founded in 1918, Yaguchi Shoten is a time capsule of cinematic and theatrical history. With wall-to-wall indoor and outdoor bookshelves, this small bookshop has an old-world charm, catering to those who appreciate the beauty of vintage photographs, film posters, pamphlets and performing arts scripts. Dig in and dust off antique film, theater and drama publications.
Address: 2-5-1 Kanda Jinbocho, Chiyoda, Tokyo
A small and cozy exhibition space, Mori no Koto in Suginami offers a comforting experience for art lovers. During exhibitions, artists often feature their own art books, allowing you to explore their creative process. Explore art collections, photo books and zines or purchase limited edition, signed copies of exhibiting artist’s books.
Address: 4-9-3 Nishiogikita, Suginami, Tokyo
Founded in 1939, Komiyama Bookstore is known for its vintage photo books and dedication to sharing Japanese culture. Books by queer artists, erotic artists and renowned Japanese photographers are also given the spotlight. As you ascend the bookshop’s floors, find collections of rare and valuable books available for purchase. Whether you’re interested in Japanese or Western arts, Komiyama has you covered.
Address: 1-7 Kanda Jinbocho, Chiyoda, Tokyo
Although small and compact, NADiff a/p/a/r/t in Ebisu is a stylish art shop and gallery that complements the cutting-edge art and photography books it houses. Beyond books, the shop sells modern art, artsy merchandise and holds exhibitions featuring both established and up-and-coming contemporary artists.
Address: 1-18-4 Ebisu, Shibuya, Tokyo
Bohemian’s Guild is a warm, welcoming bookshop and art gallery with a history spanning almost a century. Its gently illuminated shelves are brimming with eclectic books on art, design, architecture and more. As you wander through the stacks and up the stairs, discover original paintings, sculptures and multimedia art books that are sure to inspire.
Address: 1-1 Kanda Jinbocho, Chiyoda, Tokyo
Magnif Zinebocho catches the eye with its yellow shopfront and impressive collection of second-hand magazines, particularly fashion-themed publications. Vintage copies of iconic titles like Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar will give you a glimpse into the amazing history of fashion and design throughout the ages.
Mount Zine is an unassuming shop dedicated entirely to the world of zines, indie art publications encompassing multimedia artworks. Dive into print magazines full of poems, drawings, manga, graphic designs and anything imaginable (if it can be put in a book, it’s probably there). Purchase a one-of-a-kind zine or create your own handmade zine booklet at one of their upcoming workshops.
Address: 2-40-6 Komazawa, Setagaya, Tokyo
Super Labo Store is a modern shop and art gallery for photography enthusiasts. Elegantly displayed against a clean, white backdrop, you’ll find photo books by international and Japanese photographers on shelves or within glass enclosures. Stroll the shop and spot exclusive book collaborations with some of the best in the photography world.
A beautiful, bookish atmosphere puts Daikanyama’s Tsutaya Books, also known as T-Site, among one of the most popular destinations for book lovers. Three gorgeous buildings form a “library in the woods” overflowing with books that cater to a wide range of creative interests. Get comfortable and lose yourself in all sorts of music, film, fashion and design books. Truly a bookworm’s heaven.
Address: 17-5 Sarugakucho, Shibuya, Tokyo
The Art Library at The Museum of Contemporary Arts Tokyo specializes in—you guessed it—contemporary art. The atmosphere is studious and modern, designed for research and exploration. With a collection of 7,000 foreign books, arts journals, exhibition catalogs and more, the library offers a deep dive into the ever-evolving relationship between art and society, making it an essential resource for artists and academics.
Language barriers may be intimidating, but stunning visuals speak to everyone. Whether you seek inspiration or information, there’s no shortage of books for your creative endeavors in Tokyo. Research specific styles, techniques, art movements or simply leave it to chance and pick the first book that catches your eye. Who knows, what you are looking for might just be waiting for you within the pages of a book.
What’s your go-to bookshop in Tokyo for creative inspiration? Know an amazing book and where to find it? Let us know down below!