How to Buy Light Novels From Japan (2020 Guide)

In recent years there has been an incredible uptick in the number of light novels from Japan being adapted into anime.

It is no wonder then that we have seen incredible growth in the number of people that are becoming more and more interested in Japanese Light Novels.

However, the list of light novels that have been adapted to anime is incredibly small when compared to Manga.

Meaning, you have an entirely new world's worth of fiction to explore if you are stepping into reading Japanese light novels for the first time.

For those of you are looking for something a little bit different to standard manga reading or you are a Japanese language learning ready to take the step up from Manga to Light Novel, then this guide will teach you how to order Japanese Lightly directly from Japan and find amazing light novels series that you never would have known existed.



Why Buy Light Novels from Japan


  • Find out how the story ends! - Too many times will you find yourself watching a season of anime to its conclusion, only to find out the story continues, not in a manga, but a Light Novel. As turning Light Novels in anime continues to become more popular, more and more series will choose to adapt only a single story arc as a form of marketing as a way to raise awareness for the original Light Novel. So if you want to know how these stories end, you are going to need to start picking up the light novels - But trust us, it is worth it.


  • Japan-Only - Many Light Novels will never be adapted or translated for an English speaking audience. Which means the only for you to enjoy some of these fantastic stories to get the original Light Novel straight from Japan.


  • Level up from Japanese skills - If you are getting pretty comfortable reading manga in Japanese and are looking for a new challenge, but the thought of trying to read a full Japanese novel feels you with dread - Then Light Novels are what you need. Light Novels can act as a great middle-ground for those of us who are trying to make the transition from Japan to Japanese literature.


  • Unlimited Options - There are so many Light Novels from you to choose from that you WILL get lost in the endless options you have - which is a great thing! You may start out reading familiar series from popular anime, but as you start to branch out more, you will find hidden gems from genres that you didn't even know existed.

While most Japanese Light Novel stores don't offer international shipping, with ZenMarket, you will be able to shop and ship all of your favorite Light Novel right to your doorstep!

Read on to find out how to buy Light Novel from Japan with our easy to follow step-by-step guide.



Step 1: Translate the Light Novel's Title

Step 1 translate light novel

When searching for a particular Light Novel series on a Japanese website, it is best to search for the Light Novel using its Japanese title - it may come as no surprise to you, but Japanese sellers will normally list Light Novels under their Japanese names/titles.

Use Wikipedia to translate and find out the Japanese name of the Light Novel you are searching for. Japanese Light Novels can have some pretty... odd names, and when you try to translate them directly into English. Best to avoid using something like Google Translate for this and just go straight to Wikipedia. 

Simply search the title of the Light Novel followed by "Wiki" using google and click on its Wikipedia page. The original Japanese title will normally be in the first paragraph - just highlight and copy the Japanese title and you will be all set!



Step 2: Search for your Favorite Light Novel

step 2 search for your light novel

Now that you have the Japanese name of the Light Novel you are looking for, it's easy. Just paste the text into the search bar followed by this Kanji "" and hit enter - it roughly translates to "volume", so Light Novel volumes should appear in the search results, helpful if you're not interested in other merchandise ("盾の勇者の成り上がり 巻" or "盾の勇者の成り上がり 3巻").  

step 2 select store

If you are looking for second-hand volumes of Light Novels make sure that you have "Yahoo auctions" or "ZenPlus" selected for the best price.

You can normally pick up brand new copies of Light Novel volumes by selecting "Amazon" or "Rakuten", just be warned you may be paying more then you need to with brand new copies as second-hand copies are normally in fantastic condition. 

Don’t forget that if you are unable to find an item, you can always reach out to us for help By clicking “Can’t Find” on our website, our customer support team can help you out. 



Step 3: Browse Listing Options

step 3 - browse your light Novel

You will often find the Light Novels you are looking for being sold in a wide array of options. From volumes being sold individually or in complete sets, you can buy in whichever way is best for you.

To get the best value for your money, we recommend buying Light Novels in complete sets. You will save money on shipping and processing fees in the long run instead of buying a single Light Novel volume at a time.

step 3 filter options

Remember, you can always use the options listed to the left and top of the search results to help you find and narrow down your search.



Step 4: Check Item Details

Step 4 more information about item

On the product page, you can find out more information about the Light Novel you want to purchase. You will be able to see the price, more photos from different angles, and more.


If you are pre-ordering an item, please note that it will only be shipped out to us on the delivery date stated, after which you will be able to create a parcel for international shipping once it arrives at our warehouse. 

There will also be a lot more information about the item under “Product Details”, which you can normally find by scrolling down the page.  


Step 5: Place Your Order!

Step 5 buy from ZenMarket

Once you are satisfied and ready to order, add the Light Novel to your ZenMarket cart.

Our operators will then check the price and availability of your item and you will receive a notification once it is ready to be paid for.


Step 5 pay for your items

 For a full tutorial on how to buy from ZenMarket, check out our guide here



Bonus Step: Find New Light Novels!


If you are ready to dive into the unknown and find new Light Novel series that are currently popular in Japan, we have a few resources for you.  



Bookwalker's Japanese website has an updated list of some of the most popular Light Novels being currently released in Japan. Although Bookwalker only sells digital products, you can always right-click and copy the Japanese title of any Light Novel that catches your interest and follow the steps above. 

Click here to see Bookwalker's popular new releases.



As Amazon is one of the most popular e-commerce sites in the world, they also keep track of what is hot right now in Japan when it comes to Light Novels. If you happen to find something you are interested in reading on Amazon you can follow the steps we listed out above or just copy and paste the URL of the item page directly into the ZenMarket search - you will be taken directly to ZenMarket's English listing for the same item.  


Light Novels is a great form of entertainment and a fantastic way to level up your Japanese in a fun and effective way. If you are unable to make your way over to Japan to buy Light Novels yourself, then ZenMarket is here to help! 

You can click the image below to check out our full in-depth guide on how to shop using ZenMarket, which will teach you everything you need to know about how to buy anything you want, not just Light Novels, directly from Japan and have it shipped to your front door anywhere in the world.  


Register Now For 300JPY Off Your First Purchase!How To Use ZenMarket Tutorial

Article| 04/08/2020 | Anime/Manga