Kumazawa Book Store Sagamihara
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Spending my time in a book store in Japan
Books in Japan is still a special topic form me. Since my Japanese level is still something around upper N4, there is not much to find there. At least I thought so until I had some free time when waiting for the bus or for a friend and came up to strolling around some book stores. Actually, I don’t really care about what book store it is. Mainly I go into the ones inside department stores, just like Kinokuniya and Maruzen. At my home station we have Kumazawa book store. They are big, you can find a lot and they have a structure. Only problem is, that I often can’t read the structure because everything is written in Kanji… But after some time walking around, I often find what I am searching for. I have four sections I enjoy hanging around. 1st: Japanese Studying Books For sure I want to go on studying Japanese, however, I am kind of lazy and should do more. I always start looking around the Japanese language studying section if there are some good books which might be useful – now or maybe in the future. There are normally a lot of shelves filled with the studying books, not only for Japanese, but also for English, Korean and more. I often even take a look to books teaching my mother language German. Most of the time I end up with taking photos of the covers of the books I am interested in and then set them on my “to buy later” list. But there are actually already some nice books I could find this way only by looking around some pages inside the book store and thinking this might be the right for me. 2nd: Travel books I really enjoy traveling – and the Japanese people, too. So there are always so many travel guide books you can choose from. Most are very colorful and I enjoy looking around the photos inside. Taking a look through travel books while you having some spare time is also nice to get some ideas for the next trip. However, most travel books are filled with food and you often end up hungry. 3rd: Animal books I am a total cat lover and so I really love to look at cat photos. And since Japan is a cat loving country, too, there are plenty of books filled with cats. Some only include a big amount of pictures with short texts, some others are telling real stories. There are even regular magazines about cats. This is really a place in every book store I can spend hours at. But not only cats, I also like to watch all the other cute animal photos. 4th: Children’s Books Let’s go to a section I often use for practicing reading. Children’s books are good for it, because they only use simple Kanji I already can use. Sometimes I don’t understand the meaning of the things written down because I don’t know the vocab, but it is a nice feeling that you at least can read inside a book. They also have an area with books about movies and animes, where all Kanji have their reading written in Hiragana, too, what is also a nice option for Japanese learners. I sometimes just look around these novels and try to read a view sentences. A book store is a nice place to spend some time, especially if you can read at least a bit Japanese. Some stores in bigger cities even have an English books section, what is also very useful. So if you have time left and don’t know what to do: take a look inside the Japanese world of books.