Marunouchi Reading Style is a fusion of all of the most important things in life; books, random cool-looking but unidentifiable objects, and lunch. Located in the trendy KITTE shopping centre, which itself is a fusion of the old Japan Post Central Post Office and the new JP Tower, the best thing about this place is that you can take a book without buying it and read it at your table in the café, as long as you don’t let the fear of accidentally dunking the corners into your coffee stop you.
The café is a bright and airy space with a mixture of bench seats, wide wooden tables and larger, shared-tables with a view out over the bustling business district of Marunouchi at one end and across the sunlit atrium of the mall on the other. There’s room for about 60 people or so; we went on a weekend and although it was busy we were seated right away after ordering and paying for our food at the counter.
The menu offers a selection of hot dogs including chili dogs, deli sandwiches and homemade desserts like cheesecake and scones, as well as coffee, tea, smoothies and a category called pasteurized milk – I guess for all the dairy aficionados out there.
A drink, lunch set and dessert of caramel café au lait, ‘farmer’s market’ sandwich with salad and the seasonal country cake cost less than 2000 yen and it was all so good I wasn’t able to read a sentence from my borrowed almost-coffee-stained book during any of it.
After lunch you can work it all off with some browsing of the ‘zakka’ section next to the café. Zakka (from the Japanese zak-ka meaning ‘many things’) is a fashion and design movement which supposedly refers to ‘anything that improves your home, life and appearance’ – it felt like a kind of hipster bric-a-brac store.
A lot of artistic, random objects like origami globes, suede iPad cases, colorful crockery and somewhat impractical leather socks are for sale so it’s a fun place to look around even if you don’t want to buy anything.
You can find Marunouchi Reading Style on the 4th floor of the KITTE shopping mall opposite the recently-renovated Marunouchi side of Tokyo station. When Japan Post commissioned the mall to be built, they kept the original white and black façade of the iconic Central Post Office and built a 38 storey glass tower on top. The result is a striking blend of historic and modern Japanese architecture outside and in.
The layout of the mall is a triangle shape with a bright, central atrium that rises up to the 6th floor outdoor garden from where you can get a great view of the station and the skyscrapers surrounding it. There’s a museum too and you can visit the Former Post Master’s Office (also on the 4F).
Access to the KITTE shopping complex is directly via the Tokyo metro through the Marunouchi South exit; the underground tunnel will lead you to the Tokyo City Tourist and Business Information center or above ground from the JR Marunouchi exit. Take the escalator to the 4th floor and turn right – Marunouchi Reading Style is at the end of the walkway.
Monday – Saturday 11:00 – 21:00
Sunday & Holidays 11:00 – 20:00