Find yourself in Ogikubo? Go book-hunting

Find yourself in Ogikubo? Go book-hunting

荻窪は、本屋さんへ

Find yourself in Ogikubo? Go book-hunting

Ogikubo has long been the home of the literati and is popular for its liveability.
You will find everything from longstanding used book shops to independent book stores selling new books. Many different book vendors line the streets, each one just urging to become your next go-to.
There is a certain warmth and nostalgia here.
If you head further afield to Nishiogikubo, you will find book shops of an even wider variety.
In the cold winter months, make the rounds of these bookshops to find a good book to nuzzle up with at home.

Ogikubo, the promised land of Ika Bunko

Text: owner of Ika Bunko

I actually lived for about ten years in Ogikubo. I’m the owner of Ika Bunko.
So I have lots of fond memories of this area. I was living in Ogikubo when I changed jobs from the stable life of the office worker to working part-time at a bookshop. I was rejected by my crush on the platform at Ogikubo Station. The one memory that stands out most for me, though, is the day we launched Ika Bunko at Rokujigen, a book-themed cafe.

I began visiting Rokujigen because it was in my neighborhood. The owner of Rokujigen complimented me for the point-of-purchase displays I had drawn to pitch books at the bookstore I was working at, and he introduced my work to many people.

My circle of friends grew, and I was asked what I would name my own bookshop if I were to open one. The name that popped into my head was Ika Bunko (“Ika Books”).

The mobile phone case I happened to be using at the time took the shape of a squid (“ika”), and I also liked the sound of the name when it rolled off my tongue. Although this was all pie in the sky, I got caught up in the idea and wound up having my friend draw the logo. I registered an official Twitter account and began making preparations to open this bookshop that didn’t actually exist. As a result, Ika Bunko developed with no actual products or storefront.

One of the people who reached out to me early on through Twitter was my assistant, who is now my loyal sidekick. She loves squid, and was intrigued by the name. It turned out she also lived in Ogikubo, and we had crossed paths at Rokujigen more than a few times! It was a small miracle.

In March of 2012, we met for the first time at Rokujigen, where I invited her on the spot to join Ika Bunko.


 At the time, all we had was a name, but we started building out with a logo and an event at Rokujigen. Next, we held an event to select our favorite books at Bunrokudo Ogikubo and held book club picnics in Ogikubo’s park. Ogikubo was playing a pivotal role in bringing us new experiences and nonstop excitement.

It’s now been six years. My assistant and I are no longer in Ogikubo, but we continue operating Ika Bunko. I can’t help but think this is a little miracle.

Getting back to Ogikubo, the area has many places where you can delve into books for an enriching experience. For me at Ika Bunko, and for bibliophiles everywhere, Ogikubo is like sacred ground for books.

Ika Bunko

Ika Bunko is a sort of “virtual” bookshop operated by the bibliophilic owner and a squid-loving assistant. “Ika Bunko: Closed for Business Again Today” -- serialized column in this magazine

Source: metropolitana