Japan is a country that masters the art of the capsule hotel. If you don’t mind sharing a basic shower, toilet, and standing room with other travelers, you can usually find a place to stay on the cheap. These hostels also offer a chance to meet and socialize with other travelers from around the world. A Shinjuku hostel made this concept a little more interesting: instead of just building beds in the wall, why not store them in bookcases?
Book and Bed is a remarkably wide open space filled with spaces to sit, relax and open one of the many books scattered around the room. The bed capsules are surrounded by shelves filled with reading materials in a variety of languages. Manga pages hang decoratively from the ceiling, so you are surrounded by literature and artwork no matter where you look.
It’s a space dedicated to reading, but it’s not exactly a library. There is room for 30 guests and a total of around 1,700 pounds. As with most hostels, you’ll find strangers engrossed in discussions, whether it’s their home, their travels, or their common interest in the pages they read together.
Know before you go
Like many other Japanese hostels, Book and Bed also includes a cafe with food and drink. A “day use” option is also available; visitors can use the lounge for one hour for 750 yen. Book and Bed is unusual for Japan in that it only accepts credit cards. This shouldn’t be a problem for most foreign tourists, but if you’ve been living in Japan for a while, be aware of this rule.
If you are visiting the Kansai area, you can also stay at the hostel agency in Kyoto or in the Shinsaibashi area of Osaka. Other sites in Tokyo recently closed, leaving only the Shinjuku branch at the time.