English books are not too hard to find in Sapporo. The only thing is, they’re more expensive than your average Japanese books. Meanwhile, if you can read Japanese, there are tons of Japanese bookstores everywhere you go. And I mean, everywhere. Train stations, grocery stores, sometimes even convenience stores would always have books for sale.
In downtown Sapporo, there are three places where you can go to find English or foreign language books. The biggest and most extensive place to go is Kinokuniya, which is right across Sapporo Station. It is next to the Century Royal Hotel.
The English section is located on the second floor and they have a really good selection of nonfiction and fiction books. If you are an English teacher, they also have a lot of textbooks and other teacher resources.
Bonus: There’s a Starbucks on the same floor, but I’m not sure if you can bring books that you haven’t paid for into the shop to read.
The second place I recommend is Sanseido, which is on the fifth floor of Stellar Place East, one of the department stores located within Sapporo Station.
Their selection of books is not as big as Kinokuniya’s but it has a decent amount. They have a lot of books on Japan and how to study Japanese.
Bonus: There’s a cafe on the same floor where you can bring up to three books from the bookstore and read it. Most Japanese cafes won’t allow you to bring in books that you haven’t paid for. But at this cafe, if you want, you can read a few chapters and decide if you really want to buy the book.
If you don’t mind used books, which are usually cheaper, you can go to the Book Off on South 2 West 1 (Minami 2jo, Nishi 1jo). Just look for this sign:
They have a decent amount of fiction books and some nonfiction choices.
Bonus: Cheap!!! Sometimes you can even find books for 100 yen. Again, though, the books’ condition often will vary. They also offer a tax-free option. I think though, you have to buy a certain amount to qualify, but they also sell other stuff besides books.
I put this store last because at the time of this writing, Junkudo and Marui Imai just announced that they areunfortunately closing next year.
It’s too bad because they really do have a great selection of English books and they usually have many copies of the same title. I would even say they are bigger than Kinokuya. They have a lot of kids books and textbooks for English conversation learning, too.
Bonus: It’s in downtown Odori. There’s also a cafe on the second floor with some decent coffee.
Of course, you can always buy your books off Amazon or even Rakuten, but I’m old fashioned. I ike having a book in my hand to touch, feel, and even smell 🙂
That’s just me, though.