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A Feast for the Eyes and Stomach: Megutama, the Photography Book Café

Photobook Diner Megutama may be one of the only places of its kind in the world. Browse through this café’s collection of more than 5,000 photography books while enjoying healthy, seasonal dishes, indulging your love of the camera craft or just taking an unhurried moment for yourself.

The “photography book café” is a new addition to the world’s café culture, and is far from widely known. But the concept has already reached a high level indeed in Photobook Diner Megutama. The walls of this cafe are lined with a 5,000-plus-volume collection of photography books curated by Iizawa Kōtarō, who selects works representative of Japan’s photography field. The Megutama shelves hold everything from pricy and hard-to-obtain older titles to recently released publications.

Iizawa, his partner Toki Sayuri, an artist who who goes by the name Tokitama, and the chef Okado Megumiko opened Megutama in 2014 in Tokyo’s Ebisu district. The open, airy space of the café welcomes visitors to take the photography books in hand. The shop hosts organized gatherings of photography fans who come to explore the collection, reviews of the portfolios of selected photographers, and other photography-related events. Weekly events—such as “science café”  gatherings to explore dietary, health, and other topics; early-morning yoga sessions; and rakugo storytelling shows—are open to the public. Check out the website, linked below, for the event schedule (English available).

Megutama offers healthy, natural, home-cooked, Japanese-style dishes with an emphasis on organic, additive-free ingredients. There are almost no cafes just like Megutama—a gem that photography lovers in particular will want to check out.

The ichijū gosai, or “one soup and five side dish,” lunch.

(Based on an interview by Matsumoto Tomoki. Photographs © Takahashi Munemasa. Banner image: Photobook Diner Megutama’s dining area and bookshelves.)

The Megutama exterior. (©

Address: 3-2-7-1F Higashi, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo 150-0011 (7 minutes from Ebisu Station)
Hours: Weekdays 11:30–23:00 (last order 22:00); weekends and national holidays 12:00–22:00 (last order 21:00)
Closed on Monday (or Tuesday if the preceding Monday is a national holiday)
Phone/fax: 03-6805-1838


  • [2017.05.18]
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