[Travel] Tokyo – the experimental bookshop Matsuoka-Maruzen

Masa Matsuoka - one of Japan's foremost men of letters - managed the experimental bookstore Matsuoka-Maruzen between Oct 2009 to Sep 2012

Seigou Matsuoka [松岡正剛] (1944 – present) – one of Japan’s foremost men of letters – managed the experimental bookstore Matsuoka-Maruzen between Oct 2009 to Sep 2012

Matsuoka-Maruzen [松丸本舗] , an experimental bookshop that operated from Oct 2009 to Sep 2012, is a foremost example of places in Japan I love that no longer exists.

It was located on the 4th floor of the flagship store of the bookshop chain Maruzen, in a building called Marunouchi OaZO, near Tokyo Station. In other words, it was an experimental bookshop located within a traditional bookshop. When I was working in an office nearby, I used to spend many happy hours during lunch and after work, whiling away in this place.

A traditional bookshop would categorize books into fiction and non-fiction; they would put books into sections such as children’s books, adult books, manga, magazines; to save bookshelf space, they would put books on different shelves depending on the size of each book; they would also put the newest publications in prominent display.

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