The elevator doors open and your eyes adjust as you walk into a dimly lit room. No one is behind the counter to greet you and there are no visible doors. Hesitantly, you ring the call bell on the counter. As you wonder if that’s what you’re supposed to do, a door that you didn’t notice before opens and out comes one of the staff members to let you in. Unlike the “lobby”, the inside is bright and sunny. The big, blue couches are perfect for lounging and the neatly organized shelves of books provide a warm, cozy atmosphere. Welcome to Book and Bed.
Located in the center of Ikebukuro, Book and Bed started on the seventh floor of the Lumiere building, but recently expanded to the eighth floor. There are stacks of books with the built-in beds, big windows brightening up the room, and what they call a hon-delier (“hon” means book in Japanese) hanging from the ceiling. It’s a chandelier made with books hanging off of it; definitely tempting to simply pick one off the chandelier to read. There are also Kyoto and Fukuoka locations and the company hopes to branch out to other locations in Japan as they grow.
Many mistakenly compare Book and Bed to a library or a bookstore. But it's actually a book-themed hostel and if you don’t stay overnight, it’s a new kind of place where you can relax and hangout. It’s become a hit not only locally but around the world, and on the weekends you can bet there will be a line waiting before opening hours.
Daytime visitors are free to stay as long as they wish and hang out in the couch area, perusing through the books provided by Book and Bed. Others animatedly chat with their friends over a few drinks (which can be bought on site). Being such a trendy place, you may expect Book and Bed to be popular amongst a younger crowd; however, the love for books spans across generations and you’ll often see families and the elderly.
Those who reserve to stay overnight can literally hangout amongst the books as the beds are built into the shelves. There are shower spaces and bathrooms for guests and a small space with kitchen appliances, such as a microwave and water boiler. During their stays, guests are free to come and go as they wish and although it’s such a lax environment, everyone is respectful and considerate of other guests. Travelers from all over the world tend to spend several nights at the hostel. The friendly staff can give suggestions for things to do in Tokyo and often the guests and staff will go out for drinks and food.
Book and Bed provides a place for book lovers to come together and bond over their interest - it’s a place to read, a place to socialize, and a place to meet people.