What is the difference between:

書店 and 本屋

Are there any specific places where you can use one over the other? Or is it simply like the English Bookstore/Bookshop, and are perfectly interchangeable?

1 Answer 1


本屋 means bookstore. 書店 means bookstore or publishing company, latter of which would be normally called 出版社. 書店 but not 本屋 can be used as affixal; there are ....書店 but no ...本屋 with this meaning. There are [...本]屋 like 貸本屋, but that has a different structure.

  • 1
    書店 while technically meaning bookstore, often seems to be code for stores selling adult goods.
    – Ian
    Feb 12, 2012 at 1:08

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