Kinokuniya is a Japanese book store chain that started in Shinjuku, Tokyo, Japan in 1927 and has now expanded to over 80 stores in Japan and overseas–including Los Angeles!
Let’s hear a description of this particular location straight from the Kinokuniya website:
Kinokuniya Torrance is our 15th US store, and is located in Mitsuwa Marketplace within the Del Amo Fashion Center. We hope you’ll enjoy our large selection of unique books, manga, magazines, and gift items.
The Torrance location opened its doors on February 14, 2020, but was previously a Maido store located nearby. We were sad to see the closure of Maido-Torrance, but we believe the new store will still satisfy our original customers’ needs, while continuing to expand our inventory. Thank you very much for your patronage of the original and new locations. We hope you enjoy Kinokuniya-Torrance!
Kinokuniya is well-known for not just being a place for books, but also a variety of awesome knick-knacks and gift items.
A lot of the inventory is from Japan, and it’s fun to peruse all that they have, whether it be origami or furoshiki, which is a cloth that you can wrap bento boxes with or use for just about anything that you find useful.
Fans of anime and manga like One Piece will also find lots of merchandise and memorabilia here, like blind boxes, keychains, and lanyards.
Kinokuniya is a great place and one of the only physical locations in the Los Angeles area that has new Japanese magazines every week. In fact, if you really wanted to, you could even subscribe to a magazine here if you talk with the staff.
A lot of the magazines even come with some attached item, like the A Bathing Ape magazine set above that comes with a BAPE bag.
Of course, books are the bread and butter of Kinokuniya, and they have plenty of great English books to choose from.
If you can read Japanese, then there are lots of Japanese books and novels available for all ages.
If you know a certain book that is not in stock, you can actually even talk to the staff who can order it from Japan for you and then give you a call when it arrives in the shop to pick up. Isn’t that awesome?
This location has a nice kid’s area that is carpeted and features lots of Japanese and English children’s books and plenty of plushies for all ages.
If you’re interested in teaching your child Japanese, this would be a great place to get the books and to be able to see and read them first.
Japanese books can’t often be mentioned without mentioning manga, and Kinokuniya has no shortage of manga in stock at the store.
There are plenty of English translated versions and Japanese ones available, so read your heart out!
Overall, this location is on the smaller side but definitely has enough to be interesting and offer what you may be looking for. Combined with the Mitsuwa grocery store, it also is nice to be able to couple a visit here with some groceries and maybe even the attached food court. Combined, these three definitely make for an activity worth doing.