If you are a bookworm, you would be very pleased to visit London Books. This small bookstore only sells secondhand books in many languages, such as Japanese, English, and German. Although it’s small, London Books has lots of genres. Here you can browse children's books, poetry, visual-art, manga, books about film and music, and so many other interesting genres.
Make sure to look twice at the price tag before purchasing the book that you want. The actual price tag is not on the back cover of the book, however it looks like a bookmark and placed between the pages inside the book. For example, if you want to purchase a book with a ¥1400 price tag at the back cover, you need to flip the page where the bookmark is slipped and you may see the actual price is only ¥450. Pretty cheap, isn’t it? You can also find the cheapest books at the “sale” section that stored in front of the store. In this section you can buy old magazines, novels, business text books, mangas, or even classic novel with a price range between ¥50 to ¥100 only. Even though all the books here are not new, but they are all in very mint condition so you don't have to worry.
Unlike the mega-chain bookstore, in London Books you will find a very laid-back atmosphere which I like very much. There are some chairs with table so you can browse all the collection they have while the Japanese bossa nova music playing softly from the speaker. They also put the books in the low-height shelves, this arrangement creates a spacious feeling towards the little space they actually have. You can wander your eyes at every corner of the store easily, you can spot every one who comes in and out, it's such a perfection.
If you are aware with Japanese language and letters, feel free to visit the blog which is written in Japanese. The blog is well-updated with the latest titles they have, so you maybe want to search the book that you want first before visiting the store. The blog also informs some updates about local events which are currently happening around Arashiyama.
London Books is located at the residential area of Arashiyama, just 5 minutes away from Saga Arashiyama Station. You need to walk a little (or get lost a little) then when you find this lovely bookstore, you'll find a way back to your next destination.