Kastori, Japan’s Only Bookshop Specialising in Literature on Red-Light Districts


WordsManon Baeza

Watanabe-san, owner of Kastori, used to work in IT. Fascinated by the culture which emerged in the red-light district in Azuchi-Momoyama period (from the 16th century up to the 1950s), he decided to create Kastori Publishing, a publishing house dedicated to literature which specialises in literature on red-light districts.

A few years later, in 2016, Watanabe-san opened the doors of his small bookshop, also named Kastori. Located in Yoshiwara, a seaside resort close to Tokyo (and formerly one of the capital’s largest red-light districts), his shop is unique in Japan and the only one to sell these books.

Inside the shop, visitors will find many books telling stories which take place in the sex industry and which deal primarily with the theme of ‘vintage eroticism’. There is also a room that can be hired out by customers to read, and a gallery where several exhibitions – centred primarily on erotic art – are held.


4-39-2 Senzoku, Taito