Japan is a country that has mastered the art of the capsule hotel. If you don’t mind sharing a shower, toilet, and basic standing room with other travelers, you can usually find a place to stay for cheap. These hostels also offer a chance to meet and socialize with other travelers from around the globe. One Shinjuku hostel has made this concept a little more interesting—instead of simply building beds into the wall, why not file them into bookcases?
Book and Bed is a remarkably wide-open space, filled with spaces to sit, relax, and crack open one of the many pieces of literature scattered about the room. Bed capsules are surrounded by bookshelves, filled with reading material in a variety of languages. Pages of manga are hung decoratively from the ceiling, so you are surrounded by literature and artwork no matter where you look.
This is a space dedicated to reading, but it is not exactly a library. There is room for 30 guests and a total of some 1,700 books. Like most hostels, you will find strangers engrossed in discussion, whether about their homes, their travels, or their shared interest in the pages they are reading together.
Know Before You Go
Like many other Japanese hostels, Book and Bed also includes a cafe with food and beverages. A "day use" option is also available; visitors may use the lounge for an 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're visiting the Kansai region, you can also stay at the hostel's branch in Kyoto or the Shinsaibashi district of Osaka. Other locations in Tokyo have recently closed, leaving only the Shinjuku branch at the time.