Comic Shopping in Tokyo part 1

4 Dec

I’ve lived near Tokyo for a couple of years now, but have never tried to find a western comics store. Due to my new-found comics addiction I thought I’d go and visit some. Well, doing some research, I found a grand total of two that carry single issues. Man, the most populous city in the world and only two western comic stores.

A little aside: if you’re into manga and can read Japanese, you’re in heaven anywhere in Japan. There are huge used bookstores everywhere carrying the small paperback size manga issues for just ¥100 (£0.80, $1). Movie rental chains also carry manga that you can rent for a similar price. Every block has a convenience store that has a reasonable selection. If only it were like this in the west!

Anyway the first store I visited was Blister Comics in Hamacho. It’s not too far from the popular destinations of Asakusa and Akihabara, in a quiet residential neighborhood. When we came out of the station though it was a little too quiet. We turned the corner to our destination to be greeted by this:

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Blister comics is closed on Sunday… and Monday… and Tuesday! Yep, it’s closed three days a week. I don’t know when I’ll get a chance to go as its closed on my usual days off, but I’m going to make it somehow. From their website though it seems like it has a decent selection.

Next up across town in Ebisu, just a couple of stops from Shibuya was Monsters Japan. It’s just a stones throw from the station and really easy to find. It’s easy to find owing to the huge neon sign:

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Monster  is mainly an American toy store, selling the usual geek culture fare – tons of Star Wars and Batman figures amongst others. It was pretty cool to see some of the stuff they sell these days, but they’re not something I’d spend my money on. More importantly for me, they did have a small comics section, complete with a pretty small selection of the latest single issues from the big two and some indies. They also have a couple of cardboard boxes of back issues, not many though. They sell some trade paperbacks in English, but its not a particularly interesting selection. In summation, it’s a place you could come in person to pick up mainstream single issues and maybe find a trade paperback to read.
A much better selection of trades can be found at the big Tower Records in Shibuya. On the third floor they have a smallish book section, but with a really decent amount of trades, with lots from the big two and pleasingly plenty of indie comics too, such as Persepolis.

Next up I’m going to hit Kinokuniya in Shinjuku, a 6 storey book store which I’ve heard good things about, and I’m going to attempt Blister Comics again.

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One Response to “Comic Shopping in Tokyo part 1”

  1. Kai February 14, 2015 at 1:41 am #

    Thanks for this. I’ve found it very useful as I plan my trip to Tokyo in April. I hope these stores are still around!

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