by NURUL SUHAIDI / pics by MUHD AMIN NAHARUL
BIBLIOPHILES rejoice. There’s a charming, new bookstore in town for books lovers to satisfy their curious mind, get work inspiration or just simply lounge and unwind under a premium ambiance.
Tsutaya Books officially opens its doors at Pavilion Bukit Jalil on Thursday, July 7, promising an immersive bookstore experience for readers through its “Cultivate Culture and Lifestyle” concept.
The Japanese company’s first bookstore in South-East Asia takes up to 31,000 sq feet with floor-to-ceiling shelves lined with over 240,000 books, stationery and related goods to appeal to all lifestyle interests from movies to design, gardening to cooking, politics to business, and everything in between.
Specially curated for new families in their 20s to 40s, Tsutaya prides itself as the largest children’s edutainment bookstore in Malaysia to date, with over 20,000 titles for sale from over 10 genres. Kids can sit in the children’s section and have their parents read or play with them to encourage intellectual growth and cognitive development.
Overall, it encompasses four themes: Children, Art, Reading and Lifestyle Proposals that inspire customers with a selection of books — each of them available in English, Chinese, Malay and Japanese.
Beyond just a bookstore, Tsutaya at Pavilion Bukit Jalil also comprises an adjoining lifestyle café, a specialised merchandise corner and activity areas for bibliophiles to bond over community events.
Apart from a well-spaced productivity area, visitors may enjoy its “in-store café” IVY Tokyo, which offers Japanese artisanal drinks and sweets such as matcha lattes, red bean pancakes, as well as one plate entrée and open-faced sandwiches by Japanese food professionals.
Another unique and distinct attraction in Tsutaya is the incorporation of Japanese culture into the craftsmanship offerings through a range of curated Japanese products from home accessories, travel merchandise, stationery, lifestyle products and more. This segment will also bring back wanderlust, especially for the travel elitist and enthusiasts, as it taps into historical showcases, taking a person from one country to another, across the globe.
The bookstore also features book curation by lifestyle interests and not segregated by language, encouraging guests of different cultural backgrounds with similar interests to embrace multicultural beauty.
For art aficionados, feast your eyes on the art gallery wall at Tsutaya, which showcases different artists from Japan and around the world, including Japanese pop culture and art.
This section has a variety of offerings ranging from pop art, architectural product design, illustrations and even some photographs, making it the best attraction for local artists. The art-related books are presented in chronological order from past to the present, giving the visitors glimpses of the historical progression in the bookstore’s street art.
Most Malaysians may not have heard of Tsutaya Books yet. The first Tsutaya bookstore was opened in Hirakata, Osaka, by founder Muneaki Masuda, who created a hybrid model combining CD rentals, bookstore and cafe into one.
Fast forward 40 years later, its Daikanyama T-Site in Tokyo is deemed one of the most beautiful bookstores in the world, and functions more as a centre of culture and commerce. Tsutaya Books has become an all-encompassing Japanese pop culture platform, spreading its wings across the globe with over 1,400 branches.
To mark Tsutaya’s opening at Pavilion Bukit Jalil, the art gallery wall is displaying popular Japanese photographer Kotori Kawashima’s photo collection titled “Ohaya Moshi Moshi Aishiteru”, alongside Malaysian artiste Han the Craftsman’s paper craft works.
Visitors may download the bookstore’s membership app and register for free for the latest updates on activities, promotional deals, voucher redemptions and RSVP for private events.
Whether you’re a young reader, parent, cultural professional, artist, traveller or photo enthusiast, stepping into the bookstore will leave you mesmerised and inspired by the cultivation of the Japanese concept and heritage.