Gotokuji Temple

A BookWorm and Cat Lover’s Guide to Tokyo

Gotokuji Temple

Tokyo boasts of a lot of interesting attractions for bookworms and cat lovers. If you are looking for bookish spots to explore or a place to hang out and have coffee with cats, here are just some of the best places to go in the city.

Book and Bed Tokyo
Book and Bed is an accommodation bookshop with two branches in Tokyo – in Ikebukuro and Asakusa. If you have ever imagined getting stuck for the night at the library or bookstore, this place is a dream come true. You can cozy up in the common reading area or in your own sleeping space that is similar to the capsule hotel rooms you can find in Japan.

Cat Cafes
Japan may not be the birthplace of the cat-themed cafe concept, but it has certainly popularized it. All across the country, you will find a wide array of coffee shops where you can chill out with new-found feline friends. Some of the best cat cafes you can find in Tokyo are the Cat Cafe Asakusa Nekoen, Cat Cafe Kyariko Shinjuku, Cat Cafe Nekorobi (Toshima), Hapi Neko (Shibuya), Neko Maru Cafe (near Ueno Park), Nyafe Melange (Shibuya), and Temari no Ouchi (Musashino) among many others.

Gotokuji Temple
Located in a quiet part of Tokyo, the Gotokuji Temple is famous for its many Maneki Neko (beckoning cat doll) statues. The Maneki neko is believed to bring money and good fortune.

Jimbocho
Also known as Tokyo’s book town, Jimbocho is home to over a hundred bookstores. Some of the district’s top bookish attractions include @Wonder (second-hand bookshop with cafe), Anegawa Book Store and Nyankodo (Little Meow Shop), Chiyoda Public Library, Komiyama Book Store, Paper Press Cafe, Sanseido bookstore, and the Kanda Used Book Festival in fall.

St Martin-in-the-Fields

16 Free Things To Do for Theatre, Movie, and Book Lovers in London

St Martin-in-the-Fields

Despite its reputation as one of the most expensive cities to visit, London remains a tourist favorite for a lot of great reasons. And contrary to popular belief, not every experience worth having in the city comes with a price tag. Here are some of what theatre, movie, and book lovers visiting London can do for free.

Theatres, Movies, and Entertainment

1. Visit the National Threatre at 5.45pm (Monday-Saturday) to catch one of the free concerts and live performances

2. See the free exhibitions currently on display at the National Threatre

3. Walk along the National Threatre’s Sherling Backstage Walkway to see the prop-making, set construction, and other production activities

4. Head out to the Roxy Bar & Screen bar and cinema to watch some of the wide array of free movies it features in its screening room out at the back

5. Make a pit stop at the Shakespeare’s Globe Theater, take a peek or a photo of the iconic theatre. You can also browse through the wide array of items at the souvenir shop

6. Catch the free lunchtime concerts at St Martin-in-the-Fields every Monday, Tuesday and Friday at 1.00pm

7. Watch the Royal Opera House free lunchtime recitals at the Swiss Church in Endell Street. Free tickets are available at a first come first serve basis so make sure to come early to get yours.

8. Visit the Westminster Abbey at 5.30pm to listen to the Abbey’s choir sing

9. Have fun watching the nightly free comedy shows at the Angel Comedy Club.

10. See a comedy act for free on a Tuesday night at the Top Secret Comedy Club.

11. Listen to the orators at the Speaker’s Corner in Hyde Park

Books and Literature

12. Visit the world’s largest library that boasts of a vast collection of catalogued items. Explore its reading rooms and pick up a book for a bit of reading before you leave.

13. See the famous oak galleries and skylights not to mention the broad selection of books at Daunt Bookshop

14. Browse through the independent bookshops of Charing Cross Road

15. Push the luggage trolley and get your photo taken at the Platform 9¾ at King’s Cross Station. You can also take a look at the items available at the Harry Potter Shop.

16. Spend some time just enjoying “A Conversation with Oscar Wilde” as you take a moment to sit down, rest, and just watch people walk by

4 TED Talks for Theatre Lovers

If you like anything related to theatre, musicals, and other live performances on stage, here are some of the fascinating TED talks you need to be watching.

1. Ben Cameron: Why the live arts matter

“The arts, whatever they do, whenever they call us together, invite us to look at our fellow human being with generosity and curiosity.”

With a passion for live professional performing arts resonating in his talk, Ben Cameron takes a look into the role and importance of live arts in today’s hyper connected world.

David Binder: The arts festival revolution

“An artist, I think, can really show us people that we might overlook in our lives.”

Tony award winner and theater producer David Binder shares his experience seeing a performance in a small neighborhood in Sydney, Australia. He provides insights into how some of the neighborhood’s residents performed on their lawns and driveways that offers a fresh look at arts festival.

Handspring Puppet Company: The genius puppetry behind War Horse

“Puppets always have to try to be alive. It’s their kind of ur-story onstage, that desperation to live.”

The Handspring Puppet Company is a puppetry performance and design company. In this talk, founders Adrian Kohler and Basil Jones offers a glimpse into the group made of human and wooden or puppet actors.

Julie Taymor: Spider-Man, The Lion King and life on the creative edge

“Anybody who creates knows there’s that point where it hasn’t quite become the phoenix or the burnt char.”

Director Julie Taymor shares insights into a life that revolves around theatre and movies. She then talks about the process of capturing and creating unique stories and experiences from it.