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Book and Bed, Tokyo. A goodnight’s sleep is something you will not find here

Books are the point for each Book and Bed Tokyo location and are a tool for literature-inspired installations. Set on the eighth floor of the Kabukicho Apm Building, it provides a birds-eye view of the city

Book and Bed Tokyo is a collection of capsule hotels in Tokyo, Japan, owned by R-Store, a Japanese real estate agent who specialize in residential and commercial property. The project is a concept by Suppose Design, a Japanese architectural firm.

The first Book and Bed Tokyo opened in November 2015 in Ikebukuro and earned itself the title of the world’s first hostel-library. Occupying a single-room measuring 140 square-meters on the seventh floor of the Lumiere Building in Ikebukuro, the first of these book-focused hostels fused a library with sleeping pods embedded into the interior of the bookshelves which flanked the walls and dominated the floor plan. Since its inception, three locations in Shinjuku, Kyoto, and Shinsaibashi have been founded.

The Suppose Design’s project

True to the design concept, each location offers a space where visitors can slumber with a book in hand. Book and Bed Tokyo’s website states: «Book and Bed is ‘an accommodation bookshop’. A goodnight’s sleep is something you will not find here. What we do offer is an experience while reading a book (or comic book). Reviews shared by those who visit echo the ‘instant of falling asleep’».

The Japanese firm Suppose Design that is led by CEOs Makoto Tanijiri and Ai Yoshida has two offices in Japan – a head office is in Hiroshima and a second in Tokyo. Established in 2000, it offers architectural services including planning and design supervision, land and building planning proposals, and creative and design direction.

In the case of Book and Bed Tokyo, Suppose Design devised the interior design and concept. Suppose Design received the JCD Design Award Grand Prize for Book and Bed Tokyo in 2016. Aside from this hostel and its hotel projects, the firm has achieved designs for private residences, corporate offices, and medical and cultural facilities. Accolades for agency projects include the Hiroshima Architectural Culture Award in 2009, the Modern Living Grand Prize in 2010, the Residential Environmental Design Award in 2013, the International Prize for Sustainable Architecture in 2015, and the Space Design Award in 2019 and 2020.

Suppose Design has indicated its views for the future of design in its publication, Suppose Design Office: Building in a Social Context in 2019. This publication which reviews thirty projects by the agency, serves as an introduction to its planned initiatives and its vision for projects to come. Inclined towards the world of publishing would prove the firm fit for the Tokyo-based hostel-library group, Book and Bed Tokyo.

Interior at Book and Bed, Tokyo

2,500 books can be found on Book and Bed Tokyo’s shelves

Books are the focal point for each Book and Bed Tokyo location and are a tool for literature-inspired installations. For the Shinjuku site, which opened in May 2018, large-format pages from manga comic books hang from the ceiling. In every direction, books and their components greet you. This hostel, with the Shinsaibashi location, remains open in spite of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Upholding its aesthetic, the Shinjuku hostel presents larch-wood bunks hidden amongst bookshelves. Apart from the bookshelves and comic book installation, Book and Bed Tokyo Shinjuku’s identity is minimalistic. Currently, 2,500 books can be found on its shelves. The site can house up to 4,000 titles in total.

There are Japanese and English language books for its visitors to digest. Subjects span travel guides to fiction and manga comics. Essays in Idleness, the collected writings of the Fourteenth century Buddhist monk, Yoshida Kenko are present in the bookstore. Book and Bed Tokyo is a ‘bookstore’, but this is actually a figure of speech. In fact, Guests can read and loan the books during their visit but have to return the texts before departure.

The curation of the book’s selection

Responsible for curating the shelves of Book and Bed Tokyo is Shibuya Publishing and Booksellers. Founded in 2008, Shibuya Publishing and Booksellers has grown to operate six businesses and three brands under the Shibuya umbrella. The SPBS bookstore operates at three locations, Shibuya-ku, Toyosu, and Toranomon. Spbs serves as a bookstore for demographics across the board.

The second of its brands is + Spbs, a gift-and-bookstore that offers over 1,300 products from stationery and homecare products to accessories, fragrances, and lifestyle items. +Spbs is located in Shibuya Scramble Square, connected to Shibuya Station. The last of its brands, Chouchou, holds an array of items, offering an alternative shopping experience to its customers. Shibuya Publishing and Booksellers hosts Spbs the school – a selection of up-skill courses based on the concept that «the authors are teachers. Books are teaching materials. That is why bookstores are schools».

This program launched online in April 2020. Spbs Radio is hosted in their flagship store in Oku-Shibuya. It produces a bi-weekly thirty-minute podcast that invites book producers, writers, editors, photographers, architects, and creatives to discuss culture. The hostel is located at ten minutes walking distance from Shinjuku Station in the center of Kabukicho. Set on the eighth floor of the Kabukicho Apm Building, the hostel provides a birds-eye view of the city, removed from the bustle of the streets below. Shinjuku is a poster-child for Tokyo, complete with neon signs, crowds, and buildings. The ward is divided into east and west. The east side of Shinjuku is a district of bars, restaurants, and nightlife. The west side is home to Tokyo’s architectural achievements.

A space for all needs

The Shinjuku Book and Bed Tokyo occupies a single-level space that integrates bookshelves, guest rooms and a common area. There are fifty-five beds available and four room categories to choose from. These include Single, Comfort Single, Double, and Superior Room.

Each sleeping space includes a reading lamp, an individual curtain, clothes hangers, a pair of slippers, a locker for personal and valuable items, and electrical outlets. Toilets and shower rooms are shared and unisex. Toiletries, towels, and earplugs are available from the reception. Wi-Fi is on hand for guest and visitor use throughout the space.

You cannot buy the books at this or any of Book and Bed Tokyo’s locations, but you can purchase branded items including a keepsake hotel key tag, a coin purse, a t-shirt, room fragrances, or a tote bag. These can be purchased on-site and online. If someone is willing to invest in titles, they will be have to go to the nearby Shibuya Publishing & Booksellers, which is home to a wealth of literary texts. Luggage storage is available for staying guests before check-in and after check-out.

A proportion of visitors to Book and Bed Tokyo stay for a night. However, also non-staying guests can use the space for a fee. Communal spaces work as workspaces and social facilities. Therefore, guests can rent a room for an hour, either to take a break from Tokyo sightseeing, or to read a book.

Book and Bed
1 Chome−27−5
Kabukicho, Shinjuku City
Tokyo, Japan

Paris Donnatella Callan

The writer does not work for, consult, own shares in or receive funding from any company or organization that would benefit from this article.

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check and buy on Prototipo Store
item collections in limited edition
crafted according to our editorial search

Hemp / made in Italy
Lampoon is working to restore
Hemp production in Italy
as hemp is the one and only
natural vegetal fiber sourceable in the country
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