Photo Credit:Richard, enjoy my life!@flickr
The cafe-cum-book-store culture of Japan has always been a staple of the bigger metropolitan areas, and Tokyo is no exception. Nestled in an urban development near the Kokugakuin University, the Daikanyama T-Site represents one of the more ingenious and innovative centers for bibliophiles in the Shibuya area. Connected along an eponymously named ‘Magazine Street’ which connects the three different wings, visitors to the Daikanyama T-Site will have their pick of six specially designed book stores offering everything from Cuisine, Travel, Cars and Motorcycles, Architecture and Design Art, and the Humanities and Literature.
In keeping with the prolific and growing number of foreigners as well as those interested in honing their English skills, the book stores also have a strong focus on Western and English-language books. At the Anjin Library and Lounge visitors can also take a step back in time by perusing a vast collection of vintage books as well as some of the more historic Japanese publications like Taiyo. The modern and spacious interior that blends black and white synthetic material with the natural feel of wood accentuates the contrasting atmosphere of the lounge, but it’s the integration of coffee and alcoholic drinks in this area that really sold us. The ability to lounge back with a macchiato at your table while delving into your favorite book gives the Daikanyama T-Site all the flavor of a library mixed with a Parisian café.
More Than Just Books
Photo Credit:淳平 筈井@flickr
Although books are the focus, the expansive building site tries to incorporate a number of other facilities – their philosophy doesn’t seem to be so much a place where you can buy your books and get out, but rather encourages customers to hang out, enjoy themselves, and stay awhile. This means, most importantly, having a place to sit and drink a beverage! A ground floor Starbucks is cleverly incorporated into the Daikanyama T-Site, and the terraces on Magazine Street also offer a refreshing outdoor alternative. They also include a stationery store where you can purchase your own writing materials, as well as a travel center that is open daily and can assist with personally tailored trips. The multi-lingual staff here are more than helpful and equipped to help you plan a vacation.
Photo Credit:Naotake Murayama@flickr
We also really enjoyed the fact that they have a dedicated movie section, where they can actually burn hard-to-find movie titles right onto DVD for you take home. The friendly staff are also extremely knowledgeable about cinema and always eager to offer their own suggestions and recommendations. Nearby there is also a heavily stocked music section where visitors can peruse just about every genre there is, from oldie jazz records to the newest J-pop and Western music. With over 120,000 different album titles and up to 40 seated stations, it complements the artistic direction that the Daikanyama T-Site hopes to, and has succeeded in, bringing to Tokyo.
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Address: 17-5 Sarugakucho, Shibuya Ward, Tokyo
Access: 5 minute walk from Tokyu Toyoko Line Daikanyama Station
Hours: 7:00 AM – 2:00 AM
Website: Daikanyama T-Site