Photo by Dennis Amith on Flickr

Japanese Magazines Guide

Japanese magazines have a long history. The first-known Japanese magazine was published in October 1867. Since then the number of magazines published in Japan has grown rapidly.

There is something about Japanese magazines that make them quite interesting. The market for Japanese magazines is pretty huge. There are magazines for cars and food to even knitting and gardening. The Japanese people literally have something for every little thing when it comes to magazines. Know all about different Japanese magazines and where to get them in this helpful guide.

Photo by sekihan on Flickr
Photo by sekihan on Flickr

Japanese Magazines Subscriptions

Japan publishes some really cool and fancy magazines. Many of these magazines also offer subscriptions. This way, readers can get a steady flow of Japanese magazines for a periodic dose of some Japanese entertainment. After all, after reading one issue of the magazine, I’m sure you would love to get your hands on the next!

Here are some websites that provide online subscription plans. Sometimes, the magazines in print are available for shipping. If not, the digital issues are available in the subscription plans.

Japanese Magazines in English

Photo by nimbus_2000 on Flickr
Photo by nimbus_2000 on Flickr

It is great if you can read Japanese since most of the magazines are in Japanese. However, a few magazines are also available in English. Especially, the online magazines are in English. Below are some of the better-known Japanese magazines that are published in English.

Some magazines are published in both English and Japanese, while some others have summaries or notes in English. Also, when it comes to magazines on designs and knitting, the language really does not matter. The pictures are self-explanatory. Some publications also translate their content into English.

Where to Buy Japanese Magazines?

Buying Japanese magazines is now possible even if you are not in Japan. You can either get physical copies shipped to you or you can buy digital copies. Below are the websites for buying Japanese magazines.

If you are in Japan, you can buy magazines from numerous Japanese bookstalls and magazine stalls all over Japan. You can even pick up some magazines from Japanese vending machines.

Here are some of the best places in Japan to pick up a physical copy of your favorite Japanese magazine.

Mount Zine

  • Address: 2-5-10 Yakumo, Meguro-ku, Tokyo
  • Open Hours: Thursday to Sunday – 12 noon to 7 pm. Monday to Wednesday – Closed.


  • Address: Murata Bldg 2F, 2-2-10 Kichijoji-Honcho, Musashino-shi, Tokyo
  • Open Hours: 12 noon to 9:30 pm all days except Tuesdays


  • Address: 5-36-6 Jingumae, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo
  • Open Hours: 12 noon to 8 pm all days except Monday


  • Address: 3-20-13 Jingumae, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo
  • Opening Hours: 12 noon to 8 pm on all days

Nadiff Apart

  • Address: 1-18-4 Ebisu, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo
  • Open Hours: 12 pm to 8 pm on all days except Mondays

*We have tried to give accurate information above. However, due to the current difficult times, it is advised to call the store ahead to confirm the open hours.

Japan Music Magazines

Historically, Japan has closely connected with music. Music has a special place in the hearts of the Japanese people. Japanese music has both traditional and modern styles. In addition to this, Japanese people also take a keen interest in western music. Here are some of the Japanese magazines on music.

Photo by Merrisa on Flickr
Photo by Merrisa on Flickr
  • Burrn! (Japanese: バーン): This monthly magazine is gold for fans of heavy metal music. The covers are in English, however, the content is in Japanese. Subscribe here.
  • Cure: Cure is a monthly magazine in Japanese. The magazine covers different bands and also features their interviews. Along with this, the magazine also has other articles related to music. Subscribe here.
  • Music Life: This is a magazine related to western music. It’s a visual treat with pictures of different artists and from their music concerts. It also features interviews. One of their issues featured The Beatles. The last issue came out in December 1998. However, copies of these magazines are still sought after even today. You can buy old editions of this timeless magazine here.
  • Tokyo Journal: This is a lifestyle magazine published in English. The magazine has a dedicated section for Music. You can subscribe here or buy a print copy here.

Japanese Car Magazines

Japan is a leading car manufacturer in the world. Japanese cars are affordable, of great quality, and widely popular. When it comes to magazines, Japan has some great content about cars, too. These magazines are popular in Japan as well as overseas. Here are some Japanese magazines about cars.

Photo by Danielhasacamera on Flickr
Photo by Danielhasacamera on Flickr
  • Option (Japanese – オプション): Option magazine was first launched in 1981. It is a magazine for those who consider cars as a part of their life rather than just modes of transport. Subscribe here.
  • Motor Magazine: Motor Magazine was first published in 1955. It is still in circulation. The magazine is published monthly. The paper version is released on the 1st of every month whereas the digital version is released on the 3rd. Subscribe here.
Photo by azndoc04 on Flickr
Photo by azndoc04 on Flickr
  • Drift Tengoku  (Japanese – ドリフト天国): This monthly magazine is especially dedicated to ‘drifting’. It is in circulation since 1996. Subscribe here.
  • Car Top: It is a comprehensive automobile magazine that is being published for more than 50 years. It is a monthly magazine released on the 26th of each month. The magazine is in Japanese curates the best information about cars including customization and maintenance. Subscribe here.
  • Car Magazine: This magazine is for vintage enthusiasts. However, it also covers new cars from Japan as well as overseas. The magazine has a somewhat irregular publication. It is in the Japanese language. Subscribe here.

Japanese Knitting Magazines

Japan’s knitting magazines are nothing short of an obsession for knitting enthusiasts all over the world. The intricate patterns and color combinations are unique and beautiful. With some amazing styles in crocheting and knitting, these magazines provide great value. Even when these magazines are in the Japanese language, the pictures make them easy to understand. If you cannot read Japanese, you can still use these magazines and create beautiful stuff.

Photo by Johanna on Flickr
Photo by Johanna on Flickr
  • Amirisu: This is a dual-language magazine that comes in both English and Japanese. Started by two passionate women, this magazine is popular worldwide in the knitting arena. You can subscribe to their newsletter on their website or buy magazine copies here. You can also download the magazine here.
  • Crochet Magazine Japan: This magazine is in Japanese. However, even those who cannot read the language can easily follow the instructions. The magazine talks about crochet knitting patterns. Buy here.
  • Licca’s Knitting and Crocheting Magazine: This is a Japanese language magazine. However, the pictures and knitting patterns are side-by-side. Hence, it is easy to understand. The magazine has some great crocheting patterns. Buy here.
Photo by Homair on Flickr
Photo by Homair on Flickr
  • Keitodama: Keitodama is a Japanese language magazine. However, it contains English titles and is easy to understand. It is a glossy, large-format magazine. You can buy this quarterly magazine here. Or, subscribe here.
  • Tezukuri Techo: This Japanese language magazine features beautiful handknitted pieces. The step-by-step instructions are easy to understand due to the images used. The magazine also features works of other artists. You can buy, browse, or subscribe to the magazine on their website.

Japanese Garden Magazines

The Japanese love gardening. From gardening in a yard in the house to creating a small garden on a balcony, beautiful gardens can be seen in households all over Japan. Japanese magazines about gardening cover everything from the basics of gardening to new trends.

  • & Premium: This is a lifestyle magazine but talks about plants quite often. It is a monthly magazine in Japanese and is released on the 20th of every month. Subscribe here.
  • Exsior: Exsior magazine encourages gardening as a way to connect with nature. It is an online magazine and the articles are available in English. You can read the articles here.
  • NHK Hobby Gardening: This monthly magazine has some really good content on gardening, plants, and flowers. It also introduces gardening to beginners. You can subscribe here.
  • The Journal of Insectivorous Plant Society (Japanese – 食虫植物研究会々誌): This quarterly magazine has some fantastic information about gardening and plants. The journal features in-depth information about carnivorous plants. You can apply for a subscription by mailing a membership form or by sending an email inquiry. All information on the website.

Japanese Design Magazines

Japanese designs are well-known all over the world for their simple, minimalistic styles. The designs are quintessentially Japanese and the classic styles just shine through. The architecture and interior designs are wonderful and sometimes even breathtaking. Here are some good Japanese magazines on designs.

  • D Design Travel: This is a fantastic magazine series for getting to know Japanese designs. Each volume focuses on one particular prefecture in Japan. The magazine talks about different design aspects. The magazine editions for different prefectures can be found here.
  • Good Design Cafe: This magazine talks about architectural and interior design. You can buy the digital issues of the magazine here.
  • Shift Magazine: Shift is an online magazine in English that was launched in 1996. They have in-depth articles about art and designs. You can read their articles online on their website.
Photo by ewanchiang on Flickr
Photo by ewanchiang on Flickr
  • Casa Brutus: This is an online magazine that publishes great content on design. Whether you want to read about architecture or furniture design, you will find something that interests you at Casa Brutus. The articles are available in English. You can subscribe to their monthly newsletter by visiting the website.
  • Design Made in Japan: This is an online magazine that features content on designing from interior design to UX and from web design to stage design. The content is in the English language. You can subscribe to their newsletter for the latest content.

Japanese Graphic Design Magazine

Graphic designing has emerged as a major profession in Japan after post-war times. The designs have a western influence but the traditional Japanese elements are also widely seen. The harmonious color palettes and the symmetry are often seen across Japanese graphic designs. Here are some great magazines dedicated to Japanese graphic designing.

plus81. Photo by retrofuturs Stéphane Massa-Bidal on Flickr.
plus81. Photo by retrofuturs Stéphane Massa-Bidal on Flickr.
  • plus81: This magazine launched out of Tokyo features everything related to creativity including graphic designing. It is a visual magazine with a lot of pictures. Also, it is bilingual and has articles in both English and Japanese. It is published twice a year. You can subscribe here.
  • Idea Magazine: Idea magazine has in-depth content on graphic designing. It also explores how other Japanese art influences graphic designing in Japan. It also talks about graphic designing outside Japan and makes for an interesting read and has some great ideas. You can buy the issues on Amazon or the Seibundo Store. You can also subscribe here.
  • Graphic Design: Graphic Design was a well-known Japanese magazine that used to be published back in the 1960s. It is a vintage magazine but has a world of information on graphic designing. Even though the language is predominantly Japanese, there are summaries in English which makes it easy to follow the content. Some issues of the magazine are available for buying here.

Japanese Food Magazines

Japanese cuisine is very popular all over the world. If you are in Japan, the options of eating out are so many, it’s almost overwhelming. From flavorful street food to fine dining at gourmet restaurants, Japan has it all. Japanese recipes are so much more than just sushi! Here are a few Japanese magazines related to food.

Photo by Alex on Flickr
Photo by Alex on Flickr
  • Orange Page: This bi-monthly magazine is released on the 2nd and 17th of every month. Find amazing recipes for Japanese cuisine in this magazine. From side dishes to the main course, it features some great content. Subscribe here.
  • Croissant (Japanese クロワッサン): This is a bi-monthly magazine that releases on the 10th and 25th of every month. Subscribe here.
Photo by Hidefumi on Flickr
Photo by Hidefumi on Flickr
  • dancyu: This is a monthly magazine and comes out on the 21st of every month. Find all the latest and best information about food from Japan as well as cuisine around the world. Subscribe here.
  • Tokyo Weekender: Tokyo Weekender is basically a monthly lifestyle magazine. However, it has great content on food, too. This magazine is published in the English language. Subscribe here. Or, pick up a copy.
  • Ku:nel: The magazine talks about food as well as everything related to the kitchen, utensils, and more. It is a Japanese language magazine and is published once every two months. Subscribe here.
  • Tokyo Calendar: This monthly magazine is released on the 21st of every month. It is all about gourmet food and gourmet restaurants in Tokyo. This Japanese language magazine provides practical information. Subscribe here.
  • Metropolis Japan: This English language weekly lifestyle magazine is available for online reading on its website. It covers topics such as food and dining. If you are in Japan, you can pick up a copy, too.
Eli Civil

A software engineer, entrepreneur, and Japanese culture enthusiast. I travel the world while working from my laptop and try to visit Japan as often as I can. About Eli Civil

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