Kyoto has three annual book fairs of interest to expatriates, for amongst the Japanese selections are a number of English books going relatively cheap, including art books and ukiyo-e prints.
The spring fair is coming up next week at the Miyako Messe in Okazaki, the summer fair is at Shimogamo in August, the autumn fair at Chion-ji at Hyakumanben. Please note that the dates given here are from 2016, but you can check the official website here for the latest details. (For a report of the summer fair, see this Deep Kyoto posting.)
Spring Antiquarian Book Fair (May 1st – 5th)
The first floor of Miyako Messe in Okazaki, near Heian Jingu.
10～16:45 （16:00 on the final day)
Summer Antiquarian Book Fair (August 11 – 16)
10:00 – 17:30 (until 16:00 on the last day)
Autumn Antiquarian Book Fair (October 31 – November 4)
Chion-ji Temple, at Hyakumanben next to Kyoto University
10 am to 5 pm
The Antiquarian Booksellers Association of Japan (ABAJ) was established in November 1964 by ten major antiquarian booksellers of Tokyo, Osaka and Kyoto. This was a time when Japan was experiencing an unprecedented economic growth and Japanese collectors, scholars, and curators were avidly selling and purchasing rare material domestically and internationally. The ABAJ was founded with the aim of developing the Japanese antiquarian book trade to meet an increasingly global age. The first “International Antiquarian Book Fair in Kyoto” was held in March 2012. In 2015 the ABAJ celebrated its 50th anniversary at the Hotel Grand Palace in Kudanshita, Tokyo. 25 of the leading Japanese antiquarian booksellers from Tokyo, Osaka, Kyoto, Hokkaido and Kyushu participated with a further 15 international booksellers from Europe and the United States.