The top five zine shops
This select bookshop, owned by bibliophile and radio star Hiroshi Eguchi, is well stocked with volumes both new and old, and also offers an extensive range of weird and wonderful one-of-a-kind books by domestic and overseas artists and authors. Having moved from Omotesando closer to Harajuku in October 2014, it still boasts one of the largest collections of independently published ’zines inside Japan.
Instead of carefully selecting which zines should be sold, the owners of Mount Zine simply pick every zine they're presented in spring and autumn and then sell them. For the customer, this means being able to choose from over 150 titles, from well-known to anonymous; for the creators themselves, it means having the freedom to create zines, no matter who they are or what they're targeting. Considering all stock is replaced every six months, if you see something that tickles your fancy, we'd suggest getting it right there and then.
An event space with the aim of functioning as ‘a starting point for human encounters and idea exchange’, Vacant differentiates itself from other similar spots by also serving as an independent art gallery. In addition to hosting a wide variety of exhibitions, Vacant also sees book fairs, flea markets, theatrical performances and gigs. Many of the exhibits display works by underground artists, making this a particularly exciting spot for anybody interested in learning more about the culture and art of Tokyo’s up-and-comers.
If you’re not looking hard enough, you might miss this cult bookshop tucked away on the second floor across from the Tokyu department store in Kichijoji. It’s worth seeking out though: inside you’ll find a grand selection of both secondhand and newly published books, magazines and ’zines as well as DVDs and a small range of records. Hyakunen also hosts exhibitions and Q&A sessions where readers can meet with authors and various artists who have work showcasing at the shop.
Arguably the city’s best-stocked art bookshop, NADiff a/p/a/r/t boasts shelves crammed with Japanese and foreign books, as well as a selection of prints and a plentiful variety of zines. Its own NADiff Gallery holds regular exhibitions of both emerging and established artists, while free mags can often be picked up at the shop as well.