Just because there are so many wonderful options, and there really is nothing nicer than reading a book set in the spots that you're about to see. Here are some more favourites from, or set in, (some kind of) Japan:

Convenience Store Woman


The first of Sayaka Murata's ten books to be translated into English, it draws on the 18 years she spent working part-time in a konbini. Most of this story takes place in Hiiromachi Station Smile Mart, where 36 year old Keiko Furukura works. Continually puzzled by life outside the shop, she relies on the structure and rhythms of konbini life. Is she a sociopath? Something more sinister? Or this is just a simple, very modern love story.

Read more about Convenience Store Woman

The Devotion of Suspect X


The 2005 novel by Keigo Higashino has spawned a television series and two film adaptations. The Devotion of Subject X (容疑者Xの献身 or Yōgisha Ekkusu no Kenshin) is the third book in the 'Detective Galileo' series, but works as a stand-alone read. A classic police procedural, police detective Shunpei Kusanagi calls on the skills of his old friend Manabu Yukawa, a retiring physics professor. And in this novel, the duo might have met their match...

Strange Weather In Tokyo


A sweet and unusual love story from Hiromi Kawakami, it follows a lonely 30-something, Tsukiko, as she reconnects with one of her high school teachers. They build a friendship and quiet companionship, and finally, fall in love. It's a very atmospheric short novel, that also gives lovely insight into how the different seasons shape life in Modern Japan. It's called The Briefcase in some translations.

The Guest Cat


A married couple in their thirties live a pretty quiet life in Tokyo, both working at home as freelance writers. Their relationship seems strained and worn out... but the arrival of a 'guest cat' begins to change that. Written by poet and author Takashi Hiraide, this is a quick but incredibly charming read.

Across the Nightingale Floor


Published in 2002, this is the first in the Tales of the Otori trilogy (which now boasts a prequel and a sequel), set in a fantastical feudal 'Japan'. The enthralling story follows Takeo, one of the sect of the Hidden, who escapes a brutal slaughter and is rescued by Lord Shigeru of the Otori. Under his tutelage, Takeo's true talents begin to come to light. Written by Australian author Lian Hearn (the pen name of beloved writer Gillian Rubenstein) the books have deservedly been an international hit.

Read about Lian Hearn's inspiration for the book

Check out the first list of books to read before you go to Japan