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Bookuoka! Fukuoka Bookstore Guide 2013

Bookuoka 2013 10/20 (Sun.) ~ 11/20 (Wed.) / / 090-6425-6711
Launched in 2006 as a celebration of the written word, “Bookuoka” includes talks with authors, awards, and a huge curbside used book market on Nov.3. We’ve summarized some of the main events for this year’s event (~11/20) PLUS a list of great book shops in Fukuoka. Embrace your inner bookworm!


Bookuoka 2013 Events

1. Picture Book Carnival 10/11 (Fri.) ~ 10/28 (Mon.) 10:00 ~ 21:00 at JR Hakata City Amu Plaza 3F Center Court

This travelling picture book exhibition finds itself in Hakata for Bookuoka! A great selection of Japanese childrens’ picture books is set up for children and adults to enjoy together. Entry to the reading area is free and there are various workshops for ¥500 each, including picture book making, envelope making and more. Details:

2. Book Food Menu Event 10/20 (Sun.) ~ 11/20 (Wed.)
Staff at seven of Fukuoka’s popular cafes will choose a book which features a particular food item, and reproduce that item for their menu. The possibilities are endless, and each cafe’s choice of menu item is a surprise – you have to visit to find out! Participating cafes are…

33-6-37 Akasaka, Chuo-ku

2-9-14 Kego, Chuo-ku

‣Benir Cafe
2-18-13-F2 Kego, Chuo-ku

‣Henry & Cowell
1-3-11 Imaizumi, Chuo-ku

‣New Smile
2-19-1 Yakuin, Chuo-ku

‣Motoy Coffee
3-12-16-3F,4F Akasaka, Chuo-ku

‣Cafe Gallery KUBRICK
1-5-14-2F Hakozaki, Higashi-ku
*Sweets and foods vary by cafe

3. Original BOOKUOKA Book Cover 10/20 (Sun.) ~
40 participating bookshops offer an original BOOKUOKA book cover for free when you purchase a book during the event period. The designer of this year’s book cover is Miroco Machiko, author of “Okami ga tobu hi” (The Day the Wolf Flies), awarded Best Picture Book 2013 by the Japan School Library Association. But don’t wait too long – numbers are limited. Participating bookstore list:

4. Recommended Book Fair 10/20 (Sun.) ~ 11/20 (Wed.)
Staff at participating bookshops display their recommended books, based on this year’s theme “If I don’t sell it, who is going to? The books I’ll still want to sell in 50 years.” A different selection at each bookshop, and all recommended books are also introduced online at the Bookuoka website. Participating bookstore list:

5. Motoyuki Shibata Talk Show and Reading Session 10/29 (Tue.) 19:30 ~ at Livelabo (1-6-8-2F Daimyo, Chuo-ku)
Famous translator and lecturer at Tokyo University, Motoyuki Shibata comes to Livelabo in celebration of the re-release of his Tokyo-based literary magazine “MONKEY” and new translation “American Masterpiece”. His speech will focus on American Masterpiece, and includes a reading session with guitar accompaniment from musician Kojima Kaitaney. Entry is ¥2,000 and advanced booking required (092-711-1180 /

6. Third Bookshop Free-paper Exhibition 11/1 (Fri.) ~ 11/20 (Wed.)
Free-papers/zines made by bookshop staff from all over Japan will be displayed in select Fukuoka bookshops during November. The selection includes free papers from: KUBRICK magazine, Hasegawa Shimbun, Haredoku, Ehontte Omoshiroi, Tokuseirei, Kurokuro and more. You can see the exhibition and pick up copies to take home at: Kinokuniya Fukuoka Honten, Kuroki shoten Ijiri, Junkdo Fukuoka-ten, Books KUBRICK, Maruzen Hakata-ten, LIBRO Fukuoka Tenjin-ten until Nov. 20th!

7. Shotenin Night in Fukuoka 11/2 (Sat.) 20:00 ~ at Livelabo
Bookshop staff (shotenin), publishers and bookworms gather at Livelabo, each bringing their favorite books to share in an open forum. Featuring special guests: publisher Junichiro Shimada and editor Sorainu. Shimada’s one-man publishing company in western Tokyo, Natsuhasha, specializes in lesser-known works. Shimada recently wrote and published Honyazukan (transl.: Bookshop Book) with help from Tokyo editor Sorainu. The book introduces 80 bookshops from across Japan – including some famous and some rather obscure, but always interesting shops – all of which Shimada visited and reported on by himself. There were no phone/email interviews or background research used in the making of Honyazukan – only first hand accounts. The ¥3,000 fee covers the talk session and after-party (adv. booking required: / 090-6425-6711). Talk session is Japanese language only.

8. How to Open Your Own Book Cafe or New Wave Secondhand Bookshop 11/3 (Sun.) 18:00 ~ at Nuwara Eliya (Sri Lankan restaurant) 2-1-1-5F Daimyo, Chuo-ku
Kunio Nakamura & Hiroko Dozen from book cafe Roku jigen (Tokyo), Tomoko Uda from secondhand bookshop Urara (Okinawa) and Akihiro Nakamura from Kosho Dandelion (Kyoto) will meet at this talk session to discuss tips and advice for anyone wanting to open a book cafe or secondhand bookshop. The ¥3,000 fee covers the talk session and after-party (adv. booking required: / 090-6425-6711) Japanese language only.

9. Hitohako Furuhonichi (Used Book Market) in Keyaki Dori 11/3 (Sun.) 11:00 ~ 16:00 (postponed to 11/4 if rain)
1. Bookuoka
The main event of Bookuoka, this huge curbside used book market returns for its eighth year running. For one day only, secondhand books from 100 sellers are gathered on Keyaki Dori. You can sell a box full of secondhand books, and there’s a stamp rally for souvenirs too! Apply online if you want to participate as a seller (capacity 100 sellers, ¥1,500 seller fee).

10. Film Screening “How to Make a Book with Steidl”11/16 (Sat.) at KBC Cinema
Filmed in the direct cinema style, “How to Make a Book with Steidl” observes German publisher Gerhard Steidl as he collaborates with the world famous photographers Joel Sternfeld, Robert Frank, Ed Ruscha, Jeff Wall and Robert Adams, at their studios and other places of work, in New York, London and Paris, in the Katar desert, and, last but not least, in Göttingen. “How to Make a Book with Steidl” presents a man in constant movement, a German entrepreneur who has made the whole world his home. His experience and artistic empathy, his untiring dedication and diligence have made him the most important publisher of photographic books of the last decade. The film will play for one day only at KBC Cinema in German with Japanese subtitles. Normal Admission Fee (¥1,800 /movie) Official movie website:

–––––Indie Book Stores / Cafes in Fukuoka––––––––––––––––––––
The annual Bookuoka event is a great introduction to the bookshop scene in Fukuoka, but there are also many year-round bookshops and book cafes for an avid reader to discover and enjoy time and time again. Here are a few of Fukuoka’s interesting book spots…


Half bookshop/half restaurant, this popular spot is found in the basement level of VIORO Tenjin. Books on design, photography, art, and interior design available both in Japanese and foreign languages, not to mention an expansive food menu for lunch, dinner, dessert or drinks. Occasionally musicians play live at Bibliotheque too. A cool spot.

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• 2-10-3 VIORO B1F Tenjin, Chuo-ku
• 11:00 ~ 23:00

Kubrick is a small but very charming bookstore situated at Keyaki Dori. Kubrick offers mostly Japanese books, but for the curious gaijin who is looking for an alternative to the megastore mentality of the bigger bookstores, it is well worth a visit. You’ll find loads of interesting design, photography and cooking books. There are also a lot of glossy Japanese magazines on offer. There are two locations – the larger Hakozaki store which has a cafe space too, and the smaller (43㎡), original Keyaki-dori store. Keyaki-dori is a great area to spend the afternoon shopping, with a lot of independent shops and small cafes too. You can even rest your legs in the cozy seating area in front of the shop. Kubrick also organizes “Bookuoka”.

Books KUBRICK Keyaki-dori store

Books KUBRICK Hakozaki store

• 2-1-12-1F Akasaka, Chuo-ku / 1-5-14-1F Hakozaki, Higashi-ku
• 11:00 ~ 20:00

Brooklyn Parlor
Produced by Blue Note Japan, Brooklyn Parlor opened on the ground floor of high end Hakata Riverain shopping complex in April 2012. The stunning space is a collaborative work of well-known Japanese interior, art and illustration directors. Their “book director” has stocked the shelves with 1,200 carefully selected volumes spanning the genres but many art and visual books which can be read at your table or purchased. There’s a stage for the occasional live performance, and the customizable hamburgers headline the menu of American heritage, drinks, desserts, and coffee. Free WiFi too!


• 3-1-1F Shimokawabata-machi, Hakata-ku
• 10:30 ~ 23:00

Read Cafe
Located in the chic Yakuin district, this book cafe has only been running since April 2012 but has already built a name for itself in Fukuoka. Sit back and get stuck into reading something from their selection of books in the ultra cool cafe space. Food menu and coffee. New and used books for sale too.

120 copy

• 2-2-33-1F Yakuin, Chuo-ku
• Lunch 12:00~16:00, Cafe Time 16:00~18:00, Dinner 18:00~23:00 (Fri. and Sat. until 24:00)
• Close: undecided

Shosai Livre (Etude Livre)
This shop is small but packed with a carefully selected range of (mostly Japanese) books, magazines and recipe books. The shop is designed to have a home office/library atmosphere – there are chairs for customers to sit and read, as well as coffee for ¥200!

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• 4-1-18-1F Tenjin, Chuo-ku
• 10:00 ~ 20:00 (Sunday: 10:00 ~ 18:00)

––National Bookstore Chains in Fukuoka––––––––––
Though lacking some of the charm of independently run indie-bookshops, sometimes as foreigner you just need a place where you can find something to read in your own language! That’s where the larger national bookstore chains can step in and help you with their massive selection of books…

Bookoff Super Bazaar
Bookoff is Japan’s largest chain of used bookstores, and this is Kyushu’s first “Bookoff Super Bazaar” store. The spacious, clean and brightly illuminated shop is spread across two floors, full of not only secondhand books, but also CDs, DVDs, figurines, used phones, gaming devices, used designer and other second hand apparel, bags and more. Altogether there are over 380,000 items! Book-wise, head to the seventh floor where you’ll find endless shelves of used manga and Japanese novels, as well as magazines, art books, childrens’ books, cookbooks, and even an 18+ section. You can also trade your old books in for store credit at the front counter.
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• 6F, 7F North Tenjin 4-3-20 Tenjin, Chuo-ku
• 10:00 ~ 21:00

Junkudo – located inside the Media Mall Tenjin shopping building – is a huge bookstore (140,000 books in stock!) including a well-stocked foreign print section on 4F. Browsing the shelves is reminiscent of wandering a library and that’s exactly what the concept of Junkudo is about! It’s a pleasure to search the shelves for the right book, with a wide selection and spacious area between shelves. On 2F you’ll find The Lonely Planet Guide, maps and travel books in English, and the ubiquitous selection of glossy Japanese magazines. The B1F has stationery for sale and a gallery too! Take some time to have a look not only at the foreign book section, but also at the other floors, you might find something you weren’t expecting.

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• 1-10-13 Mediamall Tenjin B1F ~ 4F, Tenjin, Chuo-ku
• 10:00~21:00

Kinokuniya Fukuoka Honten
Kinokuniya is the largest bookstore chain in Japan, with 56 shops around the country, not to mention 29 overseas branches. The Kinokuniya Fukuoka Main Store, situated next to Hakata Station, is huge and has a really wide selection of foreign books, especially novels in English. If you need to catch up on the latest gossip, fashion, movies or music in English, check out the big selection of foreign magazines and newspapers. After you’ve checked out the foreign books, you should take some time to have a look at the large selection of Japanese books and magazines, even if you are just looking at the pictures… This branch of Kinokuniya is in a great location right next to Hakata Station, and the store occasionally hosts book-related events.

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Hakata bus Terminal 2013-06-19 173

• 2-1 Hakata Bus Terminal 6F, Chuogai, Hakataeki
• 10:00 ~ 21:00

Libro is a large Japanese bookstore carrying a good selection of Japanese books and magazines. It was first opened in Ikebukuro, Tokyo in 1985 and came to Fukuoka in 1997. Now there are locations all over Fukuoka – with the biggest shop in Tenjin. It has a small section for foreign language books and magazines, but it is primarily a Japanese bookstore. You could also pick up a book for a Japanese friend, or if your nihongo is coming along, then take the plunge and buy yourself a Japanese book!

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• 2-5-35 Iwataya-honten 7F, Tenjin, Chuo-ku / Praliva Bldg. 6F, 4-1-1 Nishijin, Sawaru-ku, Fukuoka-shi
• 10:00~20:00

Located on the eighth floor of JR Hakata City, the bright and spacious 2,645 ㎡ floor of Maruzen holds over 600,000 books – with everything from comics and magazines, to Japanese and foreign novels, recipe books and more! What Maruzen lacks in small bookstore charm it makes up for with sheer quantity and range. If you’re missing your monthly dose of a particular magazine from your homeland, this is your best bet to find it. Also stocks select stationery and goods by Maruzen.

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• 1-1-8F Hakataeki Chuogai Hakata-ku
• 10:00~21:00

Tsutaya is another nationwide chain of video rental shops and bookstores in Japan. There are two stores in central Fukuoka City – the first in Imaizumi (just across the road from the Apple Store) with a great selection of magazines, books, stationery and more. There’s also a Starbucks Coffee inside the bookstore, with ample seating area on the 2F where you can read your newly-purchased books while enjoying a coffee. The second central branch is in Tenjin, inside Fukuoka Building, with 200,000 CDs & DVDs and almost a quarter-million secondhand books in their “Eco Book” range. This Tsutaya also has a cafe on the 2F, with light food menu and drinks.

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TSUTAYA Imaizumi store

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TSUTAYA Imaizumi store

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TSUTAYA Tenjin store

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TSUTAYA Tenjin store

• 1-20-17 Imaizumi, Chuo-ku / 2F & 3F Fukuoka bldg., 1-11-17 Tenjin, Chuo-ku
• Open 9:00 ~ 4:00 (Imaizumi) / 8:00 ~ 1:00 (Tenjin)

Finally… Fukuoka Now staff recommended a book/magazine for Bookuoka Month… what’s your osusume?

Nick Szasz サーズ・ニック Publisher
☛ Waging Heavy Peace: A Hippie Dream by Neil Young


Emiko Szasz サーズ 恵美子 Manager
☛ ワーク・シフト ― 孤独と貧困から自由になる働き方の未来図 / リンダ・グラットン
☛The Shift by Linda Gratton

Shift Cover

Ellery Herbert エレリ・ハーバート Media Team
☛ Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides


Ruri Hirashima 平嶋 瑠璃 Media Team
☛Le Petit Prince by Saint Exupéry

Naoko Tashiro 田代 奈緒子 Media Team
☛ The Devil Wears Prada by Lauren Weisberger


Bookuoka 2013 10/20 (Sun.) ~ 11/20 (Wed.) / / 090-6425-6711

Originally written October 2013.
NOTE: The information presented here was gathered and summarized by Fukuoka Now staff. While we have done our best to check for accuracy there is a possible of error and facility details may change. If you notice any errors or changes please contact us. This report was originally written in October of 2013.

Published: Oct 17, 2013 / Last Updated: Apr 1, 2016