One of the places I just had to visit is the Kinokuniya bookstore in Japantown in San Francisco. Two floors of inspiring books! My favorite area, of course, is the aisle of craft books, especially the Japanese crochet books: amigurumi, lace, motifs, edgings, accessories, etc.
You don't have to know how to read Japanese; the patterns use the international crochet symbols:
There are also a lot of amazing magazines and art books, and of course: manga. The store is in a small mall, with gift shops (origami papers! hello kitty!) and restaurants (sushi! noodles!) on the ground floor.
Japantown isn't as well known as Chinatown, but it's definitely worth a visit. Click on the link for special events and festivals throughout the year.