Bringing the Neighborhood Home: A Cafe and Bookstore Inside a Japanese House

Ever wish you had a bookstore in your living room? It's not unusual for some people to have large home libraries, but those are private spaces; now, a Japanese couple has worked with Atelier Bow-Wow to design a home that's intended to be open to the public.

When the couple retired, they moved to Izu, a vacation area in Japan, and decided to build a home. They told the architects they wanted "a house with a bookshop and a cafe where neighbors and visitors can stop by," according to Japan Architecture Urbanism. A bedroom and guest room are tucked behind the shop and cafe.


As Lloyd Alter writes on Treehugger, maybe this is a way for bookstores to survive—as a retirement project and a labor of love. It's also an interesting model for the future of neighborhoods. If you want a stronger community, and more connection to your neighbors, maybe one solution is to build a space inside your home to make that happen.

Image courtesy of Atelier Bow-Wow