A little slice of Japan right here in London
14-20 Lower Regent Street
View location on map
JP Books Website
Images: Japan Times & Global Blue
Stepping into this London branch of Japanese department store Mitsukoshi is like being transported back to Japan. Smartly dressed Japanese assistants welcome you and prices are displayed in yen as well as pounds. The ground and 1st floors of the store sell European designer labels like Pringle, Burberry, Armani, Wedgewood and Cath Kidston while in the basement you can find British gifts like teas, biscuits and products from Fortnum and Mason. Everything the average coach-load of Japanese tourists wants to take back home all under one roof. The Mitsukoshi store also has its own restaurant.
My main reason for visiting, however, is JP Books. Located in the basement, past the rows of gifts, this small shop is filled with Japanese magazines, books, CDs and DVDs as well as English-language books about Japan, Japanese culture and Japanese cooking. It is also the best place to come for textbooks, dictionaries, flash cards and just about everything you need to learn Japanese. On my recent visit I bought two textbooks to help me study for the JLPT level 4 exam and gained a few more stamps on my JP Books loyalty card. The staff are Japanese so you can practice your language skills here too and when you come to pay for your purchases, as you place your English pounds into the little plastic tray, you'll feel like you really have been whisked back to Japan. If you can't visit the JP Books store in person you can also shop online.
Japanese-language novels and magazines
English-language translations of Japanese literature
Japanese textbooks, dictionaries and learning aids
English-language books about Japanese culture, cooking and crafts
English-language travel guides
Mon - Sat: 10am ~ 6.30pm
Sun: 10.30am ~ 4.30pm
Shop Online? Yes - at JP Books www.jpbooks.co.uk
Japanese-Speaking Staff? Yes