On one recent night I had two new experiences: I stayed at my first hostel, and I slept inside of a bookshelf. Yup, that’s right. A bookshelf.

I love to read, and I also love to sleep. I was able to kill both of these birds with one stone at Tokyo’s new Book and Bed hostel. Only in Japan!

The concept is simple — provide a library of books, add some beds, charge $30-$40 a night, and you’re in business. Of course the big draw, to weirdos like me anyway, is that the beds are actually inside of the bookcases. I had to spend a night there for the novelty factor alone!

Here’s my bed. Penthouse! I’m in unit #1.

my shelf

Book and Bed tells you up front that the sleeping accommodations aren’t fancy. When I made my booking, I had to choose between the cheaper compact bed and the more expensive standard. I chose the standard … which looks like this when you peek past the curtain:


My “room” came with a set of sheets, a pillow, a blanket, a light that clipped to the wall, a giant safe … and an assortment of exposed air ducts.


There was also an extensive library of books that included plenty of English options. I chose a series of illustrated books that focused on Japanese culture, including one called Salaryman in Japan. Here are a couple of pages so you can see how the Salaryman spends his evenings. Hint: he’s always working. 😦


I really enjoyed the Book part of my experience. The Bed part wasn’t as enjoyable, but I knew that going into it. While my sleeping area was more comfy than I’d thought it would be, staying in a hostel can be a challenge if you want to get a good night’s sleep. I will say this though … I could see that their bathrooms and showers/sinks were really nice and that the whole place was clean and well run. If I was a lot younger, needed a lot less sleep, and had a tight budget, I think Book and Bed would be a great option.

A few more photos (click to enlarge):

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  1. […] are also plenty of guest houses and hostels — like this one — that offer clean, safe and comfy accommodation for much […]

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