ユトレヒト / ナウ アイディアUtrecht / NOW IDeA

© Utrecht

© Utrecht

Tucked away in a room in a musty Aoyama residence, a shop displaying unique books called ‘Utrecht’ exists. Utrecht, which cleverly introduced the Zine, Little Press and other such artist books to the public青山の古いマンションの一室に、個性的な本を集めた「Utrecht」(ユトレヒト)がある。いち早くZINEやリトルプレス、アーティストブックを紹介してきたユトレヒトには、作り手のつくるものに対する真摯な思いや初期衝動の面白さが感じられる世界中の本が数多くある。ギャラリー「NOW IDeA」(ナウ アイディア)とカフェが併設され、出版や国内外の流通など、本にまつわる活動を行うユトレヒトの複合的なショップだ。




ムール貝が食べられる店だから「cafe aMoule」と名付けたというテラスのカフェも併設されている。こちらは現在ムール貝ではなく、スタッフの親戚の製麺所から取り寄せる美味しいうどんが火曜日から金曜日、12時から20食限定で販売中。夜にはバーも営業されている。

Utrecht / NOW IDeA(ユトレヒト / ナウ アイディア)
住所:東京都渋谷区神宮前5-36-6 ケーリーマンション2C

Text: mina
, has always been fond of showcasing many books from all over the world that focus on handmade products, simplistically earnest in their approach and embodying quirky novelty. Established as both a gallery ‘NOW IDeA’ and cafe, the shop distributes both locally-published and foreign-imported books, and is a comprehensive Utrecht shop specialising in anything book-related.

“I always knew places like this existed in Aoyama, old but pretty places that I’d like to set up shop in. Then, when I decided to open the bookshop, I went with the theme of only displaying books by living authors. Obviously, I wanted to introduce not only books but also creators of the books. In that way, it felt like I could work together with the author to achieve something, and I wanted to help them, as much as possible, convey the different types of self-expression they have. We don’t just have books here, but also a cafe, and a gallery. Through introducing a variety of activities, I thought that I could further draw out the charm and enhance the appeal of books,” mentions the shop owner Eguchi.

The gallery, which is under the Utrecht brand, organises a lot of art exhibitions which transcend genre. There probably isn’t a single bookworm who doesn’t know about Utrecht, but it’s a good place even for non-avid readers. For those who brave the complicated, baffling route to reach this quaint residence, you’ll be rewarded with unusual knowledge about the world we live in, through indie books packed with profound meaning, as well as the people who make them. The shop layout is arranged such that many thin books of the Zine variety greet you at the entrance, lining the walls by the door.

It often seems like many people randomly chance upon ‘Utrecht’. Overseas authors such as Abake have brought their books to the shop and given a page-by-page explanation of them, fortuitously resulting in the entire series being acquired by Utrecht. Utrecht is unique in its belief that even though it currently exists in a marketplace crammed full of books, their willingness to encounter someone bearing books in that special manner is what keeps people coming back.

The shop’s terrace cafe is called ‘cafe aMoule’, inspired by the image of a moule, or blue mussel, being an ‘edible shop’. Instead of blue mussels, they currently serve udon noodle, limited to 20 a day from noon from Tuesdays to Fridays, and are specially brought in from a delicious udon shop run by the cafe staff’s relatives. At night, a bar is also open for patronage.

Utrecht / NOW IDeA
Address: 2C, 5-36-6 Jingumae, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo
Opening Hours: 12:00-20:00 (Closed on Monday)
Tel: 03-6427-4041

Text: mina
Translation: Bonnie Oeni

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