I visited Outsider Global Lounge in Hiroshima in March 2014
I walked through the book store, looked at every book shelf, was quite impressed by their selection of English books, this being Japan. I have never found many books in English for sale in Japan. Here I found many interesting books, was tempted to buy a few.
My friend was sitting in the sofa in the middle of the room, reading a manga magazine. She had bought a cider, had a sip every now and then, I had opted for a beer. The selection of beers here was impressive, on the bar all the different bottles of beers for sale were lined up. It would take a while to get through them all, I had no plans of doing so. Browse some more through the books, maybe another beer, buy a few books and then leave. That was the plan. If I stay in a book store too long I end up buying more books than I can carry.
I was looking through the different book shelves scattered across the room. In the middle of the room stood a table surrounded by a sofa and some chair, my friend was sitting there. The bar was in the corner. A row of computers to use along a wall. Behind the bookshelves there was a little classroom, English classes were being held here.
I had learned about his place when looking through a tourist magazine about Hiroshima. It was the night before, we were sitting in an Irish Bar, Molly Malone. I was browsing through a magazine, found a big ad. Outsider Global Lounge English Learning Center, an English book store, English school, cafe and bar. I had been looking for English book stores in Japan for a long time, I knew I had to visit.
We stayed there for some time, I had another beer, my friend another cider. I found a few books to browse through, ended up buying three in total. A travel guide about Japan, a Japanese language book and a biography of Hirota Koki, the prime minister of Japan during World War Two and the only civilian to get the death penalty in Japan for war crimes after the war. I had already bought two books at the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum, had to make sure I had enough room in my luggage for my flight home. Five books in a day should be enough though.
The prices for the books were easy to find, each book was marked with a circular sticker, the color of the sticker indicated the price. Posters on the walls showed what the price for each color was. All books with the same colored sticker had the same price. Very easy to understand.
As we left the Learning Center my bag was getting heavy, luckily we were stopping by the hotel before eating, letting me drop my books off. I was very satisfied with my purchases, could not wait to read my books.
Before finding Jimbocho in Tokyo I have had trouble finding book stores with English books in Japan. There are book stores everywhere, but they all sell only Japanese books. Finding Outsider Global Lounge in Hiroshima was nice, it allowed me to buy some books on Japan in Japan. I always buy books from the places I travel too.
I haven’t found many other book stores with English books in Japan on my travels, but Jimbocho in Tokyo is usually able to satisfy my literary needs now. Next time in Hiroshima though, I will return to Outsider Global Lounge for sure.
Outsider Global Lounge Learning Center is located on Kamiyacho, Hiroshima. 1 chome-5-17. It is on the second floor of the building, clearly marked outside. It is open from noon to 9 pm on monday through thursday and to 11 pm on friday and saturdays.
For more information about Global Lounge, check out their website (In Japanese).