Overview    Blog    About    ︎




MONOCLE, 10 April 2020

Daikanyama T-Site / Tsutaya Books, Tokyo

︎
Where do I even start with this one? Daikanyama Tsutaya Books, better known as Daikanyama T-Site, quickly became a favourite of mine after my first visit in spring 2019. It would constantly appear on design blogs and in architecture books – and for all the right reasons.

Since opening back in 2011, T-Site has become more of a cultural hub than just a bookshop. Designed by Tokyo-based Klein Dytham Architects, the site is based around the concept of ‘A Library in the Woods’. Three two-storey buildings are connected by open air walkways and a central ‘magazine street’ that runs the full length of the site. It is here, when navigating through the central corridor, that you get the full effect of the natural landscape weaving through the crisp white exterior – a prime example of the richness of leafy sub-urban Tokyo.



Despite common conceptions, Japan is an avid a lover of analogue, and T-Site is no different. Expect to find thousands of book and magazine titles, a wide selection of vinyl as well as, you got it… CDs and DVDs in their masses. Print sections span travel, architecture, design, food and drink, cars, literature and plenty more. Discover big names alongside niche self-published titles from around the world. In the extensive travel section there is even a travel agent desk where you can book flights for your next trip.




In the centre of it all, on the upper middle floor, you’ll find the Anjin Lounge – home to vintage magazines, a grand piano and serving up cocktails and wine alongside select dishes. The mood takes a sophisticated turn here, and the warm glow and dimmed interiors has the feeling reminiscent of a listening bar.

Open until 2am most nights of the week, you could easily spend a full day at T-Site. Given the competitive nature of retail in today’s age, and particularly print retail, Tsutaya have been opening up new locations all across Tokyo, and the format continues to be a recipe for success.




Originally commissioned by Monocle for the Monocle Book of Japan
Find out more via store.tsite.jp

Photography by Ben Richards