W1B 5AG Tel: 020 3405 1150
Tucked away from the more popular alleys of Soho and the bustling crowd out on a rampage in Regent Street, the Japan Centre bookshop is positioned roughly in between London’s former red-light district and the popular shopping district. The floor-space within the shop really limits the amount of books carried in-store; it is understandable that one might just call it a convenient magazine shop with extra goodies.
Shelves positioned in front of the entrance carry a variety of Japanese crafted souvenirs and trinkets where one can discover little pleasures. The store display features a reasonable good range of popular Japanese magazines like Vogue Nippon; it even has artbooks for popular mangas like Bleach and Code Geass. Some manga magazines – like Lala – used to be stocked in this Japan Centre branch, but the shopkeeper referred me back to the main centre in Regent Street.The largest collection of books are mainly a selection of original Japanese novels, learning books(for the cooks and Japanese language enthusiast) and a couple of translated novels published in English for one to browse.
A lovely find in the shop is the anime/manga merchandise available in-store, featuring collectables like plushies and chopsticks from Studio Ghibli, One Piece posters and even Axis Powers Hetalia ‘passports.’ A nice place to drop by to get your friend a couple of small gifts.
Getting there:A 10-15 minute walk from the Piccadily Circus Underground Station. The store is right at the edge of Soho and I spent a considerable amount of time wandering around – but the bicycle service/stops prepared for the 2012 London Olympics have proved useful with maps of the area for lost tourists.
image via Japancentre.com