Book recommendations for buying when in Japan


I will be visiting Japan again in January, I was wondering if anyone had any suggestions for manga/light novels that I can buy cheaper/more easily than I can from home (UK)

I have 1-6 of よつばと already and 1-4 of ばらかもん and some other bits and bobs. I enjoy reading most stuff, so feel free to suggest anything! :two_hearts:

I mean I saw the book club thread for Hello Kitty Detectives, and it looks like a good to start out light novel/manga.


Beastars. (ビースターズ)It’s easily the best manga ever written, imo. Even if you don’t pick it up, at least take a look at it, it’s great.


I mean, if you’re up for some challenge, I’d heartily recommend the 角川つばさ version of the light novel 時をかける少女. It’s a very good read, even for an adult, but a very doable one for a learner who wants something a bit more “meaty” than a simple manga. It’s one of my favourite reads gives stamp of approval

1 Like

:thinking: it’s just Kitty Detectives, no Hello Kitty involved :joy:

But yes, I would highly recommend it as a first book! It’s very likely we’ll be reading the dog versions next year, so if you see わんわん探偵団 why not pick those up too :wink:

As a next step up from those I’d highly recommend 銭天堂, which we also read as a book club. It’s a series of childrens books and it was very readable and entertaining. Then I’d probably work up to something like 時をかける少女 as suggested by Dwarsen.

That’s all assuming you’re looking for recommendations from a learning perspective though. In terms of just ‘good books’… I haven’t read enough to say :stuck_out_tongue: but you could look at what the Intermediate Book Club has enjoyed. I would recommend the manga ARIA though (the collector’s edition is beautiful).


I would recommend the manga ARIA though (the collector’s edition is beautiful).

It looks so damn good on my bookshelf, gorgeous books. Loved that series, was genuinely sad when I’d finished reading all the volumes. (and it’s definitely a good series for not-so-experienced-yet-still-a-bit readers)


Just googled it, it does look stunning! And I think that is a very accurate description of my level haha

Ah thank you I was a bit confused there. That’s very helpful, I’ll keep an eye out for both. I’ve not joined in any of the book clubs yet, I’ll have a look at those too.

I am mainly looking for learning, I’ve got enough English books waiting for me to read them for ‘good books’ that will probably last me for years…

1 Like

Sounds up my street! I do like よつばと but it is fairly simple as far as the story goes

I love the manga ヨコハマ買い出し紀行 (Yokohama Kaidashi Kikou) by Ashinano Hitoshi.
Not a recent manga at all. But if you like contemplative stories…


Any specific reading level you’re looking for? I personally like キノの旅 for I guess entry-level light novel reading (I think one of the book clubs on here read it before). 君の膵臓を食べたい and 君はどう生きるか are also alright. For manga…maybe ほむら先生はたぶんモテない?

1 Like

But 時をかける少女 isn’t really a good book. That’s my opinion and was the consensus of the book club at least.

I want to read that eventually, but it’s hard to get ahold of.

1 Like

Sure, but I think the consensus was also that it was a good book as a learning experience. And some people did like it!


This one looks interesting, not necessarily as a learning tool or as a literary masterpiece, but as a delicate yet stunning artwork.

In 2008, Komagata released Little Tree ( public library ) — a most unusual and immeasurably wonderful story tracing the life-cycle of a single tree as it explores, with great subtlety and sensitivity, deeper themes of impermanence and the cycle of all life.

1 Like

Thanks for the suggestions, I’ll have a look at those! I’m not really sure what my reading level is, sorry! Because my studying is mainly on my own reading is probably my strong point, I took the JLPT N5 this December and found that bit quite easy, probably should have just gone straight to N4, apart from the listening!

When you say you’re visiting Japan again, does that mean you’ve also had experience with finding things in Japanese book shops before?

P.S. Send photos. :smiley:

Around that level, I think it might be useful to take a look at the A. Beginner book club and beginner book club books(past and current) and nominations to see if you find anything interesting

1 Like

Yes, I’ll definitely do that!

1 Like

Haha yes I have! I managed to ask a very nice lady where they kept Bakuon (high schools girls riding motorbikes) and she found it for me so I must have been understandable!

There was a little incident where I got confused about the “Boys Love Comics” section, I told my friend, “I guess boys really do love comics here” then I opened a couple and realised it was other boys that they loved… :rofl: