As bookstores all over the United States close their doors, helpless against the onset of ebooks, Japan holds steadfast to the cultural importance of the printed page. Just last month, a new bookstore called Kyoto Okazaki Tsutaya opened in Kyoto, heralding a mission to stock their selves with books that will “move the soul” and reinforce Kyoto’s status as a leading cultural center.
Kyoto Okazaki Tsutaya is housed on the first floor of ROHM Theater’s main plaza. ROHM Theater is a historic cultural center originally called Kyoto Kaikan, constructed in the 1960s and recently refurbished by architect Hisao Koyama. This huge entertainment complex is close to the Kyoto Imperial Palace and the Zen Buddhist Nanzenji Temple. ROHM Theater boasts three multipurpose halls suitable for musical concerts and theatrical performances for both large and small audiences.
This slick new bookstore sells books that revolve around three themes: “Art”, “Japanese Living”, and “On Japan”, as well as local hand-made gifts and art. There is a free gift-wrapping service, a Starbucks for the caffeine-dependent, an art gallery, a posh restaurant upstairs, and bike rentals available for those who wish to explore the streets of this ancient city afterwards.
Interested in making your way over to this brand-spanking new Okazaki Tsutaya Bookstore for a visit? Hours are 8:00 am – 10:00 pm, seven days a week (hours vary on holidays).