Trick or treat, and do not tell me what you read

It is not yet about Halloween, even though the preparations are in full speed all across Japan. Rather, what to do on a day when you do not feel like spending time outdoors. Your choice today is among trick or treat or both!

Trick

To have fun in two or with a group, be it family or friends, head to the Tokyo Trick Art Museum. Listed among the top unusual museums in Tokyo, you can find one in Odaiba island in Tokyo, or another (smaller) one hidden in Chinatown in Yokohama. Do not go there alone though as the fun part is taking photos of one another in the world of optical illusions.

You dare to take a photo of me?!?

Here you can become part of the classical painting, walk upside down on the ceiling, run away from sharks or fight with dinosaurs, all becomes possible…with the right angle.

A surprise may be waiting for you around every corner…

Treat

An option that also works solo is to pop into Tsutaya Books in Daikanyama T-Site. You may already know the name as there are several Tsutaya Books stores in and around Tokyo. It is a place that sells and/or rents books, music CDs, movies, music sheets, etc. and always has a cafe on site. Yet, the one in Daikanyama is probably the best and my favourite. I found it via Business Coffee Club gathering during my first weeks in town and more than a year later, it still holds its place on the list.

It is a big site with three interconnected buildings and a vast selection of new and vintage books, magazines, music records (that you can listen for free on site) and the like. There is Starbucks café on the ground floor in one of the side buildings and a cozy Anjin lounge upstairs in the middle one. Head to the latter for your tea or coffee, late breakfast or afternoon dessert and forget all the rest for at least half an hour.

Tsutaya Books at Daikanyama T-Site.

Even being a foreigner you will find what to do in Tsutaya, including a corner with English books. Talking about books I have to mention that while the vast majority of Japanese cannot get their heads out  from the smartphone, there are still many people who read books. Pretty often is it a hard copy (I do not recall seeing many people with e-readers) and ALWAYS with a cover.

There must be a saying “tell me what you read, and I will tell you who you are”, and probably that is why Japanese care a lot to keep their reading private. When you buy a book, you will get a cover right away in the book store without asking, unless…you are a foreigner. In such case it depends, as probably they know that foreigners do not really see a need to hide what they read.

An example of book covers.

They also say that “when in Rome, do what Romans do”, so I wait till my books are covered in a simple beige colored paper. When on the train, I start reading “The Xenophobe’s guide to the Japanese” and cannot hide a smile as so many things seem soooo familiar! This time I am really glad that no one can see what I am reading…

Tsutaya Books at Daikanyama T-Site.

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