When I think about Daikanyama, that’s the first word that pops into my head. In my head, I see sidewalks filled with shiny, well-dressed women with little poodles stuffed in gauche logo bags. Now this is totally delusional, but I wrote this tony neighborhood off ages ago. Too fancy. Too expensive. What the hell am I going to do in Daikanyama?
I’ll tell you what: go to the coolest bookstore ever. That’s what.
Tsutaya Books is a spin off of the Tsutaya video empire, and yes… it has a Starbucks in it, but before you cast your hipster judgment, hear me out. This three building book haven has been carefully curated with the best in literature, music, food, art- both in English and in Japanese (mostly in Japanese), and a stellar periodical section. You know that obscure design magazine you saw that one time, but can’t find it now, but it’s really cool and you want it for your very own? They got it. It’s next to the air plant display.
But the most awesome part of Tsutaya isn’t even the books- it’s the space. There’s a lovely, library-esque section-complete with outlets and WIFI- for you to take your Venti half-caf corporate venom and work. Café squatting is a balancing act, but at Tsutaya, they truly welcome it.
As I strolled around, surreptitiously taking photos while trying not to disturb anyone, I stumbled upon the most awesome site in the stationary section. Pens. Glorious glorious pens. As a writer, one of the few things I am Poodle-ish about is a good pen. I am a stone cold pen SNOB. They have a floor-to-ceiling wall display of—no joke—over 1000 different pens, not to mention the center cases. It’s like the Tiffany’s of pens, ranging from inexpensive to over 100,000 JPY. I could feel the attendant eyeing me as I cooed over the French inkpots and insanely thorough selection of Parkers. I had to get out of there.
Peaceful, practical, and uptown (without being all bougie about it), Tsutaya Books is the perfect reprieve for the bookworm, the remote worker, or the mildly deranged manifesto drafter. A wonderful afternoon, waiting to happen.