Book Browsing in Tokyo

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This year Monocle rated Tokyo the most liveable city [video here]. More importantly, the magazine reported that there are 1,383 independent bookstores in Tokyo. There are 12 in Singapore.

I visited maybe the most famous of Tokyo’s bookstores, Daikanyama Tsutaya Books, which consists of several rooms of books, music, and movies surrounded by a courtyard. There’s also a Starbucks if you need a coffee fix. Most of the books are in Japanese, so I browsed the magazine section, which has every lifestyle, food, and travel magazine I could think of. The surrounding area has a lot of unique clothing, coffee, and boutique shops, and it’s easy to get happily lost roaming around. As I wandered in and outside the store, I passed many casually well-dressed Japanese, with their black beanies, loose pants, and Nikes, on their way perhaps to lunch with a friend or to pick up a book for their commute.

Sometimes you get that overwhelming feeling in a city: you wish you could have several lives to live, one in each city you love.



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