Sunday, July 7, 2013

Kinokuniya Bookstore in Seattle

Kinokuniya Bookstore is a Japanese bookstore located throughout the world.  Each store carries Japanese books, as well as Japanese and Chinese magazines, Japanese CDs, travel guides, stationery and more. 
This Seattle location is the only Kinokuniya in Washington state, and it's located in Chinatown's Japanese grocery store Uwajimaya.  There are two entrances: one is from the corner of 6th and S Weller, and the other (pictured above) is from the inside of Uwajimaya.
And inside the store, there are signs of Kpop!  There are recent album promotion posters lining the stairway up to the second floor.  The only Kpop posters I found, and by Kpop I mean Jpop music by Kpop artists, include Girls' Generation's "Love & Girls," Jang Geun Suk's "Nature Boy" and SHINee's "Boys Meet U."
The second floor carries Jpop CDs.  Among this collection are some sparse Jpop CDs by Kpop artists.  The first section of CDs displays the new releases, which is where I found most of the Kpop artists.  Here I found Donghae & Eunhyuk of Super Junior, SHINee, Girls' Generation and Kim Hyun Joong (not shown in picture).  In alphabetical order I also found FTIsland's latest album, Rated FT, and more Girls' Generation.  To give a rough idea of just how expensive these CDs are, I'll list the prices.
This is majority of the Korean artists' Jpop CDs in the store.  As you can see, the prices are quite high and the store only carries well-established artists.  These are the listed prices and discounts seem to rarely happen.
Also upstairs is the travel section.  Here is a shelf with Korean travel guides in Japanese.  What drew me to this one book were Pig Rabbit and Jang Geun Suk on the cover, reminding me of my first drama, You're Beautiful.  Inside includes an abundance of pictures and locations, including this section filled with lots of Korean beauty stores like Nature Republic, Holika Holika, The Face Shop, Etude House, SkinFood, and more!
Downstairs is where all the magazines are.  The Kpop section is my most favorite area in the store!  This photo displays the entire Kpop boyband and actor magazine section, and as you can see there is a large variety.  These Japanese magazines showcase the hottest Kpop stars and Korean actors.  The magazines that caught my eye were one of Infinite (first magazine in the fourth row from the top) and of actor Song Joong Ki (second magazine on the top row).  These magazines do seem a bit pricy, with some being roughly $15.  While I prefer not to listen to Jpop (because if I can't understand Korean nor Japanese, I'd prefer to listen to music of the artists' native language), I have no preference with magazines because pictures are the same in any language and either way I can't understand the writing.  So I'm always inclined to buy a magazine while I'm here!  I did end up buying the Infinite magazine, which I'll review soon.

I come to Chinatown very often, but I only step into this bookstore maybe once a year.  What turns me off about Kinokuniya are the unreasonable prices (I understand that these our shipped from overseas, but finding these items online is much cheaper) and the very limited selection of Kpop.  But if I ever need a quick Kpop fix, I'd come here!


  1. Replies
    1. I don't live in Japan, but I've visited there~ Kinokuniya is a Japanese bookstore but they have branches all around the world^^