Niche-interest capsule hotels and themed accommodation are becoming more common in Tokyo in recent years, and you'll find everything from a hotel staffed by robots to a hostel repurposed from train compartments. More interestingly, there's a growing selection of accommodation catering to bibliophiles. So if you often find yourself staying up until the wee hours of the morning engrossed in a good read, you'd love these unique bookstore-themed accommodations.
Resembling a library or bookstore, these book-hotels have stocked their shelves with all sorts of reading materials from manga and glossy magazines to artistic coffee-table tomes. Most of which even have a small collection of English-language titles. Don't need an overnight stay? That's okay – many of these hotels also double as hangout spots for guests who's just looking for a few hours of peace and quiet to do some reading.
RECOMMENDED: Your ultimate guide to Tokyo for book lovers
A bookstore has never been as one-stop as this: Tsutaya Book Apartment & Book Lounge has got to be one of the most unique places to stay (and do some reading) in Tokyo. Occupying three floors in the Shinjuku Minim building, it houses a sake bar in the basement, a co-working space on the fourth floor, and private sleeping booths complete with shower facilities on the fifth and sixth (women only) floor. There's even complimentary coffee and tea facilities. This being in Shinjuku, it's also perfect as a crash pad for folks who have missed their last train home after a night of bar-hopping. And yes, there's free wi-fi.
You probably won’t get much sleep at this new concept capsule hotel – but who could blame you as you'll be staying up all night browsing the hotel's extensive manga collection of over 5,000 titles. Located in Kanda, Manga Art Hotel is so serious about these books that each manga title comes with reviews and recommendations in both English and Japanese. So yes, there are English-language manga in the mix. All the manga here are also available for purchase in case you want to further your reading past check-out time.
Book Tea Bed Ginza puts its own spin on the library-hotel concept by offering guests warm herbal tea to get them fully relaxed at bedtime. Sleeping options range from single-person spaces equipped with hangers, night lights and shelves, to standard-sized ones featuring larger mattresses designed for comfortable reading and a good night's sleep. The library has something for everyone, with about 2,000 titles including travel guides and other English-language books. Guests not staying the night can still visit the Book Tea Bed café and enjoy the shower facility and free wi-fi.
Inviting bibliophiles to fall asleep over a great read, the Ikebukuro location of Book and Bed offers a unique accommodation space fitted with sleeping areas built into the bookshelves. Guests can choose from two types of beds: bunk style or bookshelf. The neat and orderly hostel also features a bar which also doubles as its front desk, where guests can stock up on food and drinks. Book and Bed Tokyo Ikebukuro is also available for day-time use only, with hourly rates that include access to a bed, shower, free wi-fi and over 3,000 books (English and Japanese titles available).
The Asakusa offshoot of Book and Bed, this hostel calls itself an ‘accommodation bookshop’, and they cheekily claim that the quality of the books on offer means they cannot guarantee a good night’s sleep, as you may be up all night reading. Aside from having access to shelves of books all free to borrow for the duration of your stay, patrons can pick between three accommodation options – Compact, Standard and Double – while toilets and showers are shared facilities. There’s also a bar on site, and w-fi is free – not that you’d dream of putting down your book to pick up a laptop.
At Book and Bed's Shinjuku location, overnight guests are assigned sleeping compartments set amongst the bookshelves. The library's collection contains more than 2,500 books including both Japanese and English titles. However, you can still can use the on-site café for some quiet time even if you're not spending the night.
There are cosy single-person pods as well as large superior rooms that can accommodate couples on the double beds; the latter even feature picture windows with views. A one-night stay starts at a reasonable ¥5,400; small amenities like soap and earplugs are free fo guests looking for a comfortable stay. Lockers are also provided to place your personal belongings, and towels can be rented for just ¥162.
Japanese lifestyle brand Muji is best known for its clean yet functional designs and lust-worthy stationery, and the concept extends to the newly opened global flagship store and first hotel in Japan. This new Ginza landmark offers the complete Muji lifestyle. So aside from two restaurants, five floors of retail, a bar and two galleries, it also houses an open library stocked with books on art and design on the sixth-floor atelier. So while you won't be staying in a library-themed room per se, you can always grab a drink at the bar while perusing one of the many books available.
Hakone Honbako is a stunning boutique accommodation inspired by the joy of reading. The common library is the main feature here: the light-filled, split-level space has floor-to-ceiling bookshelves filled with the hotel's collection of 12,000 books, and it's littered with gorgeous mid-century designer chairs. The huge picture windows, on the other hand, look out to the surrounding mountains. Talk about a peace of mind retreat.
More accommodation options
A new generation of capsule hotels is reinventing the tiny-hotel industry with cool tech and hip designs. Here are Tokyo's top pods
Stay at these Japanese-style inns for a taste of traditional hospitality
Escape the city chaos – the prefectures around Tokyo boast great beaches, onsen resorts, organic farming, hiking and vineyard tours