Here's A Look Inside Japan's Largest Bookstore Chain That Just Opened In Malaysia

With 12 different categories of books spanning over 31,000 sq ft, they even have an indoor cafe for you to read these books before buying them.

Cover image via SAYS

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After spending months waiting for their reveal, Tsutaya Books has finally reached Southeast Asia — and they're right here in Bukit Jalil

Located right in the centre of Pavilion Bukit Jalil comes one of the most highly-anticipated bookstore openings in Malaysia for 2022. 

Tsutaya Books, founded by Muneaki Masuda who opened its first store in Osaka in 1983, has spread its wings across the globe and landed in Malaysia, the first franchise to open in Southeast Asia. The store had its grand opening yesterday, on 7 July.

The goal, and ultimate philosophy of Tsutaya books is simple: "Cultivate Culture & Lifestyle."

"More than a bookstore, a space to discover and explore, a space to cultivate creative pursuits."

The single-storey bookstore covers 31,000 sq ft, with floor-to-ceiling bookshelves lined with over 240,000 books, stationary, and lifestyle items

All the books are spread out over 12 different genres — travel, art, magazines, workstyle, lifestyle, food, lifestyle goods, children, language, comics, humanity, and literary. Multiple other sub-groupings also exist within these bigger classifications.

The display and arrangement are curated by interests as opposed to language. But a keen detail that differentiates Tsutaya Books from other bookstores is the range of books in a variety of dialects across each category, which includes English, Simplified Chinese, Malay, and Japanese.

Image via SAYS
Image via SAYS
Image via SAYS
Image via SAYS
Image via SAYS

There's even a section just for stationary and luxury pens, among other items including bags, socks, greeting cards, and files too.

Image via SAYS
Image via SAYS

And if you get a little lost? Just look up, signs are everywhere!

Image via SAYS

A key feature of Tsutaya is the kids' division, which is currently the largest children's edutainment section in any bookstore in Malaysia

Catering to the literal "younger" crowd, Tsutaya has far from forgotten the young ones when constructing the layout of their first bookstore in Malaysia.

Carrying over 200,000 children's books in the four allocated dialects as stated above, the golden verdant space even consists of a treehouse-inspired Learning Room, where children can sit down comfortably and read books, play with toys, or wander around the aisles of books.

Image via SAYS
Image via SAYS

The books are classified according to age, with books for newborns, children's classics, and even cartoon-inspired puzzles and games being among the plethora of choices.

Just outside of the children's section is a designated zone for young adults, where there's an array of pre-teen classics from chick lit, romance, sci-fi, and fantasy. The bookstore even has a section for reads dedicated to homeschooled children.

There's even a wide variety of boardgames for purchase, including Jumanji and Monopoly.

Image via SAYS
Image via SAYS
Image via SAYS

Beyond housing books, Tsutaya Books also features an extensive section of artistic displays

From fine art to pop art, architecture to photography, and even fashion, an elegant adornment of limited edition, luxury collectable coffee table books are on exhibit for the public to see.

Among these include a "Ferrari Limited Edition Collector's Book", that has produced just 1,697 copies worldwide, and is priced at a whopping RM32,800 (which has since been sold).

Here's a look at "The Walt Disney Film Archives" book, that was also on display:

There's also an art gallery wall which showcases difference artists from Japan, and around the world every month. As this is their opening month, the current display includes photos by Tokyo-based photographer, Kotori Kawashima.

Enhancing their goal to cultivate culture and lifestyle, don't forget to stop by their indoor cafe to lounge and unwind

Purposefully created to cater to all bookworms, pull up a chair at the bookstore's cafe, that's modelled after Japan's 'share lounge', for a cup of coffee to get some work done, or escape your stresses by immersing yourself into a good book.

Seating up to an estimate of 90 patrons, get to know your fellow bookworms and bond over the latest novels to hit the shelves at Tsutaya.

Image via SAYS

If you're feeling a little peckish, grab one of their gorgeous desserts before you leave:

Ready to embrace your inner bibliophile?

Here's where you can find Tsutaya Books:

Lot 2.89.00, Level 2 (Orange Zone),
Pavilion, Bukit Jalil.

Operating hours
10am-10pm (Daily).

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Tsutaya also carries all the Bridgerton books! Check out our ranking of all eight novels before deciding which to get:

Can you guess how many of these infamous books are banned in Malaysia:

If you can't make it to Bukit Jalil, here are some other cool bookstores to visit:

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