Best sites for non-Kindle Japanese ebooks?

Hey I’m looking for a couple recommendations for sites I can buy Japanese e-books on. I have a Kobo device so I’m looking for alternatives to Amazon… ideally a site that simply allows you to download the .epub files


You can have a look at this thread, there is a section about buying digital books:


Those guides don’t seem to have the information I’m looking for. I tried Bookwalker and the book I purchased isn’t even available for download it has to be read in their app online. The sites don’t seem to clearly state which books are available for download to your computer and in which formats. This is the information I’m looking for

There is no commercial site that lets you simply download the books, unfortunately. You always have to read them through the site’s app or the site’s device.

You can access a lot of stuff on Aozora though, it’s even free of charge. But it’s HTML pages only (which you may process to your liking and turn them into PDF or EPUB for example).
Here is some information about the contents of that site: Here, Have a List of Aozora Books by WK Level

Ah okay thanks. For Japanese kindle books are you still able to download the files though and then convert them and remove the DRM as you can with books purchased on North American Amazon sites?

You may have already found that while Kobo has a download option, it doesn’t actually download the EPUB file. The file that does download supposedly will allow you to import the book into a different e-reader, so long as it supports Adobe Digital Editions DRM. (I haven’t tried this.)

If you install the Kobo app on Windows (desktop), and sync your purchases there, you can find the encrypted “KEPUB” files in one of Kobo’s folders. Some (unofficial) applications can remove the DRM from this, resulting in an EPUB file that you can use on other devices, even where ADE is not supported.

(My apologies if you knew all this already. I wanted to mention it just in case there’s any new information for you.)


Oh I see. I’m checking out the Kobo site now and their library seems very limited. I searched for Kiki’s Delivery Service in Japanese and all that came up was porn stuff. Nothing in the results for Murakami either.

I guess I’ll just try buying a cheap kindle book from Amazon Japan and see if I can convert it.

I’m looking for books my wife wants to read too (she’s Japanese) so those databases of young adult novels isn’t really what I’m looking for right now.

Alternatively I could also just buy a Kindle. Looks like there’s probably more options for getting the best Japanese dictionaries and everything set up nicely with one of those compared to my 6+ year old Kobo

1 Like

Yes, though I believe Calibre only knows how to remove the DRM if you have some kindle device linked to your Amazon Japan account so you can use the serial number in Calibre. I think there are other ways supported in Calibre as well, but I was never able to get them to work.

@Kumirei got a Kobo recently and has been happy with it I think, so maybe they have a suggestion.

For Kobo, you need a Japanese account (with a Japanese-looking home address), and the store needs to be set to Japanese (top-right corner):


I believe that you need to sign in with a Rakuten account to view the full catalogue

Although I only tried it a couple of times I never needed a serial number


I put in my Kindle Paperwhite’s serial number. When I download a book from Amazon, I say I’m downloading it for my Paperwhite, so the DRM is specifically for that device. Then Calibre can somehow use my serial number to remove the DRM. It gives other options for other devices. The only other one I tried was the Windows app, but I couldn’t get that to work. But yeah, there are definitely ways supported that don’t require a serial number.

Nice! I had looked at Kobo’s catalogue a few weeks ago and was also confused as to why their selection was so limited. It is a bit odd that you need an account to see “normal” content, like kids books, but at least there’s a way to see everything.


If you’re looking at kindle then search up the “dedrm ” plugin for caliber. The one by apprentice alf. I’ve converted kindle to txt and other formats hundreds of times this way.

You’ll need to be using amazon jp though.

1 Like

It is the same process as in the USA store BUT even using Calibre and the deDRM plugin, as far as I know, to be able to successfully remove the DRM, one needs to use a very old version of Kindle (for Mac in my case) that you have to dig the internet to find… Besides that, I had also to delete some files in the Kindle directory to prevent forced Kindle updates (even if you uncheck the automatic update box, Kindle will update…) If you know an easier way please let me know…

It won’t help with the epub/drm-removal side of things, but I thought I’d mention a useful (Japanese-language) comparison of a great many ebook stores:

(I’ve only used Bookwalker and Booklive, and found them much the same and both very usable outside of Japan although I preferred Bookwalker’s reward and coupon systems and Booklive has a slightly wider selection in some areas)

Might suggest some other options to look into.

1 Like

Nice! I did not know this way. I have one computer running an old version of Kindle so it can gets files that are not in the KFX format (nowadays, even files that have extension AMZ are KFX files). Then Calibre with the de-DRM plugin does the trick. But it has been a long while since I tried to do this. Since DRM is a never ending cat and mouse arms race, not sure if it still works. Nowadays, I just have two user accounts in my laptop so in one I have the Kindle JP and it the other the Kindle USA. I wish iOS also supported multi-user accounts so I could do the same with my phone.

I just download the books directly from Amazon’s website and I’m pretty sure it’s not the KFX type. I’m not sure if that would work for your workflow.

With my account (not a Japanese one), it still won’t show up. At least the porn is gone, though! Only version I could find was a Chinese group set. My guess is they don’t have rights to sell it in other countries.

I can set the language to Japanese, but mostly I just get Harry Potter translations at that point. Need to fake it out better than that, I suppose.

1 Like try from this page. I own over 100 japanese books from here and I’ve had no problem removing the drm so I could convert them to txts and use yomichan if I need to.

That is one step closer. At least you can search their catalog and find the book. Sadly, you (or rather I) can’t buy it. It comes with this message on the Japanese page:

"アメリカ合衆国 で購入不可


Trying to switch stores to the American one, you get:

“Unavailable in United States. This item can’t be purchased in United States.”

I tried a few other countries, but it was on to me at that point and wouldn’t let me. I think a VPN might get you past the watchdogs, though, but at least from the US, it doesn’t look possible.

Do you have a USA address set on your account?

Once upon a time, I was using my “US Kobo account” to buy both US and Japan region items. I’d just switch my address between purchases. (Eventually this broke my profile and I had to go through tech support to fix it, so I stopped doing that and use two separate logins instead.)