Immersive Book and Bed Hostel Experience, Tokyo

Photo of James Smart
7 April 2020

If you’ve ever wanted to throw yourself into a novel, Book & Bed could be for you.

This family of Japanese hostels offers “bookshelf beds”, hidden behind drapes and accessed via ladders, in an artfully designed lair of bookcases and literary-themed displays.

In between the book shelves is your bed for the night | © Culture Trip

Cubby holes and easy chairs offer spots to browse a book, or guests can pop their head out of their bed cubicle, pull a tome from the shelves, and read till sleep comes.

The greatest moment of sleep

Book & Bed describes itself as an “accommodation bookshop”. But it doesn’t sell any books. Instead, fiction and non-fiction in English, Japanese and other languages is made available for guests so that they can get comfy and doze off mid-sentence – what it calls “the greatest moment of sleep”.

Staying at Book & Bed

There are six Book & Beds, with three Tokyo branches (in Ikebukuro, Shinjuku and Asakusa) as well as hostels in Kyoto, Osaka and Fukuoka. Accommodation is in basic cubicles with mattresses, although more spacious double rooms are available. In the communal areas, sharp lines and atmospheric lighting frame cubby holes, comfy chairs, bookshelves and artworks – plus hundreds of intriguing books. Bathrooms are shared, and the cubicles are a good option for anyone on a budget – a berth will set you back around ¥5,000 (£37).

The world’s great book hotels

Book & Bed is not the only place you can wrap yourself in words. In Portugal, Óbidos’s Literary Man offers 30 rooms and tens of thousands of books, plus cocktails inspired by Jack Kerouac and Herman Melville. In Russia, St Petersburg’s Radisson Sonya has rooms themed around Fyodor Dostoyevsky’s Crime and Punishment (1866). On the south coast of England, Wonderland House is all about the fantastic journeys of Lewis Carroll’s Alice, and features tea-cup seating, a Jabberwocky toilet and a Laughter Gym. Other options around the world include Hobbit houses and Harry Potter hotels.

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