Japan: New late-night library in Shibuya quenches thirst for liquor, literature

A late-night library in Tokyo’s trendy Shibuya district that allows patrons to enjoy a good book and a drink in a bar-like setting is proving a hit in the usually quiet and sober world of the bookworm.

It’s the brainchild of Shunsuke Mori, a 30-year-old entrepreneur, who posted his plans for opening his “dream library” on the domestic Campfire crowdfunding website in late April. The proposal tapped into a pent-up demand among bookworms, drawing nearly 10 million yen ($98,500) in start-up funding in about a month.

On June 16, the “Mori no tosho shitsu” (library in the woods) library/bar opened near JR Shibuya Station, occupying a 100-square-meter space on the third floor of a commercial building. The book collection is expected to reach 10,000 volumes, Mori said.

“This will be a library where even non-bookworms can feel comfortable with,” Mori said. “I hope users can pick up books, feeling it as convenient as borrowing books from their friends’ bookshelves.”

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