Tag Archives: boutique

In Tokyo, book lovers can sleep in a hostel that is designed like a library


Boutique hotels with design interiors and unique rooms are becoming popular, perhaps as an alternative to global hotel chains. An example is a hotel in Portugal with a vast selection of books, and now, even hostels are adopting the trend. In Tokyo, Japan, a hostel lets you sleep on a bookshelf – literally.

Book and Bed hostel in Tokyo, Japan
Book and Bed hostel in Tokyo opened in 2015. The concept is simple: a massive bookshelf accommodates both the available books and the beds where guests sleep. Sofas and coffee tables in an open space invite people who may want to socialize with fellow book readers.
hostel for book lovers in Tokyo
There are no rooms for guests, but they sleep in capsules located in the bookshelf. A bed, safe, electrical outlet and a reading lamp help travelers to rest in their wooden pods. Two sizes of capsules are available: 120cm x 200cm, and 80cm × 200cm. Claustrophobic tourists will stay away from these beds, but travelers who love books and want to stay a night in a cozy, low-priced hostel in expensive Tokyo, Book and Bed is a choice worth considering.

The concept has already been so successful that owners are opening their fifth hostel in the Shinjuku district of Tokyo in the mid-2018.
hostel where guests sleep in a bookshelf, Tokyo, Japan
The price for a night is about $50. The book selection consists of 5000 titles with a few English books as well. If you want to buy a book for a souvenir, you have to find Shibuya Publishing & Booksellers bookstore, because the hostel doesn’t sell them. The bookstore curates the book selection for Book and Bed hostels.

Free Wi-Fi, showers, bathrooms, basic toiletries, and rentable towels are available for guests as well.

All the photographs by Book and Bed. They have been taken in more than one location.

Book and Bed hostel in Tokyo, sleeping pod
Book and Bed hostel, Tokyo, sofas and coffee tables
sleeping in a capsule in a bookshelf in Tokyo hostel

How an industrial site developed into a thriving artist community


Inside Finland’s quirky artist haven reads the headline of the recent article in Travel and Leisure magazine. The article is a fine account of a success story of a beautiful village, Fiskars, in southern Finland. Originally, Fiskars was a manufacturing site, because of a river and rapids that produced energy for factories. Today, the village is a beautiful place where more artists would like to live and work than there are apartments and houses available.
Fiskars, an artist village in Finland
The Travel and Leisure article describes the rapid change of the village:

“When I moved here in 1995 the village was dying,” Widnäs recalled as we sat around her dining-room table drinking coffee. “The knife factory was the only thing still in operation. But three years later, I arranged an international ceramics exhibition, and we got a lot of publicity. It made other artists and designers very eager to move here. They saw we were working together — and working like hell.” Widnäs also explained that at first, there was confusion around the new identity of the village and its connection to Fiskars, the business; some people thought the artists were working for the company. “Fiskars owns the buildings, but that’s it. We make the town alive.”

Fiskars village, Finland, Scandinavia, Europe
The commercial product brand Fiskars is still associated with scissors, knives and other products, but the company doesn’t have anything to do with the village anymore, except as a real estate owner. Corporate headoffice is located in Helsinki, and manufacturing takes place in several sites across the world.

For travelers who stay in Helsinki, and want to get out of the city for a day, Fiskars is an excellent destination. It is about one drive from Helsinki. Summer weekends are busy because Finns like to visit Fiskars on Saturday and Sunday. The popular things to do are: have a picnic, shop at boutiques, walk along the river, explore exhibitions, have a cup of coffee or a meal at a restaurant. Playgrounds for children keep them busy as well.
Fiskars village, South Finland
If you have time and energy after visiting Fiskars, I recommend the coastal town of Tammisaari (Ekenäs). The old town center is well preserved, even though houses are mostly made of wood. Very nice and neat old town to explore. The town recently adopted an ancient name of the area Raasepori (Raseborg). Finland has two official languages, Finnish and Swedish, and it is the coastal area where Swedish can be the dominant language in many communities.

On the way, you may spot a place called Billnäs, which is also an old industrial village. It is also developing to something else, but time will tell what it will be. Today, antiques shops is perhaps the thing Billnäs is known for.

More about quirky destinations, and above all, the quirky culture and customs of Finns can be discovered in the book The Lighter Side of Finland. Finland is changing, and the book has recently been revised and updated. It is the 6th edition that is available now.

Traveling in Europe but no books to read? Why not stay a night at a library in Paris


The city of artists, authors and a few million other people – Paris – has a special hotel room waiting for travelers who like to sleep with books. Paris Boutik Hotel has rooms that are all different, designed to a theme. One of these rooms is a library. It is located in Marais district of the city.

Paris Boutik hotel room library bookstore
The library room is generous in size: 45 m2. There are books for children as well, but not for pets. Dogs or cats are not allowed in this room.

Books, on the other hand, are available in the bathroom as well, in case a guest forgot to take reading along from the bedroom or lounge.

The Paris Boutik Hotel has more information and online booking.

Via Actualitte (with more photos).

Paris Boutik hotel, books in bathroom
Paris Boutik hotel, library room