When you visit Japan, you’ll probably want to find some weird and wonderful presents for your friends and family back home, and I know just the place to find them!
Village Vanguard is a chain of shops in Japan that, at their heart, are bookstores. But trust me when I say, they are so much more than this! They sell everything you could think of, that you never needed, and didn’t know you wanted.
Their book collection is also to be applauded. They carry international comics, in Japanese, as well as Japanese books covering all genres. They also have some rather interesting books to help Japanese people learn English, from the widely popular, “How to use F***” – that teaches users how to swear in English, to books that teach you English by using phrases from the Star Wars Enterprise!
But, as I said, these stores are much more than bookstores. The reason I love this store is how random and exciting the available items are. These stores carry a wide range of anime goods, from figures, to pencil cases, to jewellery. They also have a large number of Ghibli or Disney related products. They carry a lot of Star Wars, and Superhero memorabilia. And, of course, random, crazy, Japanese items like plastic food sets, light up chopsticks and anything else you might think of!
Village Vanguard has locations throughout Japan, as well as an online store. If you’re staying in one of the big cities, you should take a walk around the main shopping areas, and look out for their big bright sign. But beware – I often spend hours wandering around the packed store looking at all the oddities on offer!
You can visit their online store here *Automatic translation