Just come back from a trip to Nishiyama bookstore in Ikebukuro.
View Larger Map
If you are looking for a transport bookshop in Tokyo this is the place to go. It covers trains, planes, boats, trucks, buses and cars; plus some movies and war related books. Most of the books are secondhand and in English but there is a good collection of German and French language books and magazines on trains.
If Ian Allan is one of your favourite publishers, or the initials BNSF mean something to you, I don't think you will be disappointed.
The shop is well organised with almost all the books well ordered, though I was surprised to see a street atlas of a small town in England amongst all the railways books.
The one thing that is missing though, is books on Japanese railways. I found one slim booklet on the Light Rail systems of West Japan, and a couple of books of photos of Japanese trains with Japanese text, but that was it.
Only five minutes walk from Ikebukuro station this small shop is worth a visit if transport is your thing. But If you are looking for fiction or more general second handbooks then go just a couple of stops south on the Yamanote line to Blue Parrot books in Takadanobaba , or carry on further south to Ebisu to Good Day Books.
I'm sure there are more second hand English language bookshops in Tokyo, A search yields this list from American Airlines which includes a few I've not heard of. And if you'd rather shop online I discovered Infinity Books Japan , but it's not the same as browsing a dusty bookshelf looking for something unusual.
Anyone got any more bookshops to share?