Kinokuniya help please

Hi, I’m trying to use Kinokuniya (Australia) online and I think I’m missing something.

Literally every japanese language book that I look up is listed as not only ‘Out of stock’ but also ‘Not available’ as in there’s no way to order it in.

Have they just given up on individual orders? Is it the freight cost? Why bother to have titles in the catalogue if there’s no way you can buy them?

Or is ther some secret menu I need to access that I’m just not seeing?

Frustrated :angry:


Yeah, Kinokuniya Australia kinda stopped taking online orders when COVID started, and they don’t seem to have resumed. I’ve been a little unimpressed with them lately. I tried to order a bunch of manga volumes last year which the website said were available, and they just… removed them from the order. Like, I still want the books, ya know? You’re the ones with the resources to get things.

However, if you e-mail the Japanese counter directly - - they might be able to help you. They were able to order a book for me.


Thanks, it’s always reassuring to know it’s not just me.

I think I’ll just go with a forwarding service - was hoping to avoid extra fuss.

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Man. Sorry to hear about your difficulty, and I’m sorry to say I can’t help at all.

Your title was kind of an instant click for me, though. Like Proust and a madeleine, I was transported.

Back in the eighties, the Kinokuniya in Umeda station was a regular haunt for me, but not, believe it or not, for Japanese books!

I was a young engineer living in Itami, near Osaka. Kinokuniya was just about the only place to acquire books in English.

English books were expensive, but they had a surprisingly good collection. Whoever chose their titles did an amazing job.

I distinctly remember picking up William Gibson’s Neuromancer on a whim after seeing it displayed prominently at the end of the English aisle — something I’ll forever be grateful for (he’s still my favorite author).

It never even occurred to me that they’d have an online store now — in Oz or anywhere else.

I associate it solely with physical books. They didn’t have a huge collection of English books, but I could barely read kana back then.

I probably bought a couple of Japanese textbooks for foreigners, but mostly I spent hours browsing the one or two rows of English books they had available (as well as the pretty awesome office supplies they sold).

Not sure why I’m posting this, it’s obviously a huge, famous bookstore, but thanks for the memories, regardless!


Yeah, within Japan this is my go to place whenever our family goes to YouMe Town. So, I appreciate your memories.


Great to hear your story. I have good memories with the Kinokuniya name for similar reasons - the only English books around in 1997 Sapporo (I bought Ian M Banks’s “Excession”).

Spooky :ghost:


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