A new bookstore in Tokyo could easily be confused as an art gallery. Bunkitsu is definitely a different bookstore because of its design. “That’s what we want people to think — that it’s an art gallery where they can encounter books,” says Hikaru Yoshino, the shop’s 27-year-old public relations office.

Bunkitsu opened in December 2018 in Tokyo’s Roppongi district. People can go to the reception area which has a few magazines that they can read for free. In order to access its 30,000 books on the second floor, customers must pay 1,500 yen or 14 dollars.

Bunkitsu is a place for hardcore book lovers to relax in. Additionally, there is also a cafe on its second floor so that book hounds can spend all day without going too far to find food. The cafe serves food and free refills of tea or coffee to the customers.

According to Yoshino, a coffee in Tokyo costs between 400 yen to 500 yen so he thinks Bunkitsu’s fee is sensible enough that customers can enjoy a bottomless cup while reading for a few hours. Also, there is only one copy of each book and magazine in the bookstore so if you miss the chance to buy one, you might never get another. The 36-year-old store manager, Akira Ito, said that buying a book at Bunkitsu has the same feeling as buying a book in a museum shop. People have paid their entry fee so they feel invested in finding a book.

Ito and Yoshino said that Bunkitsu’s uncommon business model has not discouraged sales so far since 30 to 40 percent of their customers purchase a book. Bookstores are closing down throughout Japan because of the popularity of e-books but, Yoshino remains positive that bookstores will survive.