On one recent night I had two new experiences: I stayed at my first hostel, and I slept in a large bookcase. Yes, that’s right — a bookcase.

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 guests $30-$40 a night, and you’re in business. Of course the big draw, for travelers like me, is that the beds are actually inside the bookcases. I had to spend a night for the novelty factor alone!

Here’s my bed. I’m in unit #1.

my shelf

Book and Bed tells you from the get-go that the sleeping accommodations aren’t fancy. When I made my booking, I had to choose between the cheaper compact bed versus the more expensive standard. I opted for the standard, which looks like this when you peek past the privacy curtain:


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


There was also an extensive library of books that included plenty of English language options. I chose a series of illustrated volumes 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 savored the Book part of my experience. The Bed wasn’t as enjoyable, but I had suspected that would be the case. While my standard-style mattress was surprisingly comfy, spending the night on a bookshelf can be a challenge if you want to get a good night’s sleep.

However, I could see that Book and Bed’s bathrooms were modern and clean and that the whole place was well run. If I was younger, needed much less sleep, and had a tight accommodation budget, I think this hostel would be a good Tokyo option.

At the very least, you’ll have a good story to tell later!

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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