The Junkudo bookstore, located on Shijo-dori in the bustling center of Kyoto, closed for good at the end of February. That was a sad moment for me and many other Kyotoites, in particular those devoted to reading and writing subjects on literature and the humanities, for whom Junkudo was a favorite bookstore.

The event appeared to symbolize the current plight of the publishing industry. It felt as though the last fortress of bookstores in Kyoto had just crumbled away.

The dwindling number of people visiting bookstores is attributed not just to the declining sale of books and magazines, but more importantly to the increasingly common practice of people buying books on e-commerce sites.