[Tokyo]Savor the rich world of books and literature

[Tokyo]Savor the rich world of books and literature


Enjoy Komagome to your heart’s content

A touring guide to Komagome, where the old and new intermingle.

[Tokyo]Savor the rich world of books and literature

Check out the historical collections, see the special exhibits, or pick out your next read at the bookshop...
“Book Street” is a unique place to sample all that books have to offer.
 After enjoying the gardens, head to Shinobazu-dori. There are many bookshops in the Yanesen area and environs. This road, also colloquially known as “Shinobazu Bookstreet,” has two core destinations in which to enjoy the culture of reading.
 Your first stops should be the Toyo Bunko Museum and Morrison Collection. Close to 24,000 books span from floor to ceiling on vast bookshelves. It’s almost like the world of storybooks! The precious historical collection cannot be handled in person, but you can sit on the sofas and gaze out at the stacks, a moment of pure luxury.
 Nearby you will find Books Aoi Kaba, a bookshop with a sign featuring a cute illustration of a hippo. This shop is right near the Toyo Bunko Museum and just opened this year as a downtown bookseller. The collection revolves around old books of various genres. It’s a great place to stop by after your walk for an interesting pickup.
 In this way, the charms of the solo journey are all about doing things on the spur of the moment and at your own pace. Don’t hesitate to visit these two destinations for Komagome’s book culture.

Let time slip away as you delve into a world of books.

A collection of 1M books

〈Toyo Bunko Museum〉

The Toyo Bunko Museum boasts one of the world’s finest collection of books and is a research facility into Asian culture. George Ernest Morrison, an Australian journalist, spent 20 years amassing a collection of books that now line the shelves of the Morrison Collection, with rare manuscripts on Asian culture. On the opposite side of the collections is an exhibit space that hosts three exhibits annually, with a variety of items from around the world that offer a glimpse into Asian culture and history.

The collection, by founder Iwasaki Hisaya, is worth 70B JPY in today’s money.

The 9m tall bookcases are deep and feature three tiers. The ceiling, with skylight, is 10m tall.

On the first floor is an exhibit space with atrium called the Oriental Hall. The 16m long display case contains rare books and manuscripts from around the world.

The Morris Collection display cases feature a range of items from the Toyo Bunko Museum’s vaults based on whatever exhibit is ongoing.

Toyo Bunko Museum

2-28-21 Honkomagome,Bunkyo-ku
Open:9:00-19:00 (Entry until 18:30)
Closed: Tuesdays (When a national holiday falls on Tuesday, closed on Wednesday.)
Japanese New Year's holiday and the other dates.
Entrance fee:Adults 900 yen, seniors (65+) 800 yen, college students 700 yen, high school students 600 yen, elementary school students 290 yen

Check out this newcomer to Komagome!

〈BOOKS Aoi Kaba〉

Books Aoi Kaba just opened this January and has a collection of new and old publications themed around “Good Books Forever.” The owner, Oguni, used to work at a major book chain and wanted to open a local bookshop where people would encounter totally unexpected books. The collection goes beyond genres to encompass picture books, novels, magazines, books on food, art, and business, and even comics and zines. The richly varied lineup means there is something for adults and children alike.

The proportion of old to new books is 9:1. On the shelves by the entrance is a mix of new and old publications, as well as picture books.

“Fifty things you must do by age 13,” by Hatsuo Sato
This unique experiential book contains fifty “missions” and lets the reader write logs in the book. Here’s a book that gets you moving to the rhythm:

Norio Nakamura’s “Dottoko Dobutsuen.”
The animals of the zoo appear in pixelated dot form. Then there is this unique graphic art work that even adults will enjoy:

“Shi-mekuri” by Shuntaro Tanikawa.
This collection of poems is perfect for winding down the day before bed. Enjoy it as the capstone to your day’s walk through Komagome.

BOOKS Aoi Kaba

1F Taniguchi Building,2-28-24 Honkomagome,Bunkyo-ku
Open: Monday to Saturday 11:00-21:00
Sundays & public holidays 11:00-19:00

Source: metropolitana