Read Trips: Book and a Bed is a literary-themed japanese hostel

Read Trips: Book and a Bed is a literary-themed Japanese hostel

In For the Love of Reading by Kevin Gray

Read Trips: Book and a Bed is a literary-themed japanese hostel

Whether a getaway takes you to the beach, the mountains or a bustling city, leisure travel is one of life’s true luxuries. But for readers, there’s something extra enticing about these relaxing trips: the ability to lose yourself in a book. And while many accommodations can foster a good reading session, certain destinations take the role seriously and provide the perfect environment for a book-fueled vacation. Today’s topic: Book and Bed in Japan.

According to the World Tourism Organization, Japan boasts nearly 90,000 hotels and inns, amounting to roughly 1.8 million guest rooms. With seemingly endless accommodations to choose from, you may find yourself wondering where to start. Hotels range from five-star leisure palaces to mountain resorts and even pod hotels, where you get a bed and not much else. But each year, avid readers flock to Book and Bed, a casual hostel that doubles as a library.

Book and Bed currently has two locations — one in the bustling Shinjuku district of Tokyo, and another in Osaka’s Shinsaibashi neighborhood. Both opened in 2018. The Tokyo location resembles a bookstore, with 1,700 books situated on shelves throughout the space. It can accommodate 30 guests, with each small room hidden behind the book cases. Some rooms even require a ladder to access. Those rooms range from tiny single rooms that aren’t much more than a bed to double rooms and superior rooms, which have larger beds and a bit more space for moving about. Rooms include book lights, so you can read late into the night.

Outside the bedrooms, you’ll find couches and chairs for curling up with a good book. There’s also an on-site coffee shop where you can order coffee, tea, and simple breakfasts.

Book and Bed’s Osaka location is white and bright, with books lining shelves, hanging from the ceiling and built into communal seating areas. Like its Tokyo counterpart, the rooms are small and don’t allow for much more than sleeping. But the common spaces are comfortable, with plenty of space to spread out and read.

Both hostels offer an affordable day-use option, so you can enjoy the space on an hourly basis, even if you’re not spending the night. Swing by to hang out and read, or take a nap if you need some rest.

Book and Bed hostels are not luxurious — the rooms are small and don’t include the trappings found at higher-end business and leisure hotels. But what they lack in frills, they make up for in immersive reading environments.

Book and Bed Reading List

Enhance your stay in Japan by reading a few books written by celebrated Japanese authors. Here are four good options you’ll find on Scribd.

Read Trips: Book and a Bed is a literary-themed japanese hostel

Kokoro by Natsume Soseki

Soseki is one of Japan’s most revered authors, and Kokoro is one of his most revered books. This 1914 novel is broken into three parts and explores themes of loneliness and isolation through a poignant relationship between a young man and his sensei.

Read Trips: Book and a Bed is a literary-themed japanese hostel

Rashomon and Other Stories by Ryunosuke Akutagawa 

Akutagawa is widely acknowledged as “the father of the Japanese short story” and remains one of the country’s most influential writers. This collection of his most celebrated work includes Roshomon, In the Grove and The Dragon, as well as other popular stories. 

Read Trips: Book and a Bed is a literary-themed japanese hostel

No Longer Human by Osamu Dazai

In this raw and relatable book, Dazai’s protagonist narrates a seemingly normal life, while struggling to understand other human beings and reconcile his experiences with the world around him.

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Read Trips: Book and a Bed is a literary-themed japanese hostel

After an injury, a brilliant math professor is cursed with only 80 minutes of short-term memory. Enter the housekeeper tasked to care for him. Every morning, she must introduce herself to him, and a strange and beautiful relationship blossoms between them.

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About the Author: Kevin Gray

Kevin is a Dallas-based writer covering all things lifestyle, including food, drinks and travel, and his work has appeared in The Dallas Morning News, Forbes, Men's Health, and other outlets. The Cormac McCarthy canon sits at the top of his favorites, but he can't resist a good whodunnit.
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