I saw a sign for a cool looking library on the Senseki line that I was taking out to Matsushima and researched it and found this article, which states that this is the second collaboration between Tsutaya and a public library (the other city is Takeo in Saga prefecture in Kyushu). It has a Starbucks and restaurant in addition-the library is next to the station and is the kind of "third place" that I like to hang out at. So since it was raining I stopped for a coffee and checked out the cool design-lots of light and space. It seems to be a successful idea, so I hope to see more of these collaborations in Japan in the future.
This is the public library space adjacent to the commercial space.
The architecturally impressive Hotel Okura is slated for a massive remodel, so I wanted to see it before they tore it down. A friend happened to be visiting from out of town, so we decided to make a visit. Some views of the lobby.
We were planning on getting a drink in the Orchid Room, but as you can see it was fully occupied.
So we ended up at the Baron Okura, a wine lounge and cigar room, instead.
Last week I saw in The Japan Times that there was an exhibition on the buildings designed by Kenzo Tange, one of my favorite Japanese architects, near Nogizaka station. Overall it was interesting, however, I would liked to have seen more pictures blown up like these in an outdoor exhibition. The exhibition at Gallery Ma is on until March 28th.
They roast their own coffee beans and have original cocktails and bottle craft beers. It has free wi-fi, but it is a very small space, which is the only drawback besides the location in opinion-I'm not a huge fan of the Nakano Broadway mall, which mostly has game and magna related merchandise and a sort of 60s worn out feel to the premises, perhaps more space like this would change that vibe.