So many bookstores on the streets were once said to be in an extremely precarious position because of internet competition.
However, these kinds of small book stores have evolved and are now creating a movement.
In Takamatsu City, we have found “Nata-sho,” a very unique secondhand bookstore which opens by appointment.
”Nata-sho” is a bookstore with an appointment system
You can find this bookstore on the next street over from “Kan Kikuchi Street.” It is a 4-minute-walk from the west exit of Kotoden Kawara-machi Station, which is close to Ritsurin Park.
People who love books and bookstores definitely have heard the name of this store, “Nata-sho.”
The mysterious appearance of the store is a little bit decadent, but makes us feel this is “something interesting!”
Almost no one would imagine that this shop is a bookstore if there were not a sign reading “secondhand books” along the entrance.
When you go inside, you are going to find a hand-written sign mentioning that “this shop is a bookstore with an appointment system.”
Yes, “Nata-sho” is an extravagant bookstore which opens for you personally if you make an appointment.
Kiki, Nata-sho’s popular storekeeper, has many fans!
The spacious 2nd floor is the bookstore, and very many books are tightly packed on the shelves.
Mr. Yoshiyuki Fujii, a.k.a. Kiki, is sitting in between the books.
Why has this bookstore become so popular?
Of course, one of the reasons is that this bookstore itself is the attraction.
But the biggest reason is Fujii’s unique character.
Surprisingly, one regular customer publishes a little magazine about Fujii.
“Why do you open this bookstore by appointment?” we asked, and his answer was “because I thought that people would think it was interesting that way.”
Actually, he is a very active and versatile person and supports Setouchi Triennale, writing articles about books for style magazines or newspapers, or even doing business for start-up bookstores or book cafes.
There is a corner for the Setouchi region, full of books about Setouchi, such as “Setouchi Encyclopedia,” back issues of “Setouchi Living,” and picture books of Shodoshima Island.
Bookshelves in a surreal world
Books of all genres can be found in this store, and most of the books are secondhand.
You can also find various posters and subtle objects displayed here and there.
Selected sundries and music CDs are also surreal somehow….
You cannot help but gazing intently at the inimitable world of “Nata-syo.”
Here, we found a cool bookshelf, whose base plate is made with transparent glass.
“See? You can look at books from below because the bottom of the shelf is transparent.”
The shelf is called the “bookshelf in the air.”
A stage designer, a friend of Fujii’s, gave him this idea.
There are many chairs in the place, so you can sit in whichever one you want to spend time with the books.
Now many tourists from Europe and Asia visit Takamatsu and Kagawa, which have a lot of places to see, such as Ritsurin Park, Naoshima Island, or Shodoshima Island.
Maybe you can find a special book relating to your trip at “Nata-sho.”
Address／2nd floor, 2-9-7, Kawara-machi, Takamatsu-shi, Kagawa
Nearest Station／4-minute-walk from Kawara-machi Station on Kotoden Kotohira Line
Open／By appointment（Every day, 24/7）
*Please check Twitter for the times when you can visit without an appointment. (https://twitter.com/kikinonatasyo)
Photographs and text by Akiko Isonaga
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Akiko IsonagaI was born and raised in Hiroshima, but my mother's hometown is on Kojima island, Ehime prefecture. When I was little, I used to climb up on the roof of an orange warehouse and gaze at the picturesque islands of Seto. They were really beautiful. Now that I'm a bit older, I’m happy to be able to spend time working as a photo-writer and conveying the beauty and charm of the Seto Inland Sea. As well as writing at home, I live a short walk from the World Heritage site of Miyajima, I also work as a teacher and am currently studying color psychology.
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