The entrance to a ‘mountain’ quietly standing deep inside a shopping arcade.
- photo&text/ KENTA BABA
-translate/ NOMURA YOSHIFUMI
The third most crowded place in Kyoto called Fushimi Otesuji shopping arcade.
Heading toward east through this shopping arcade and before you reach to a sake brewery street, you can see ‘Nayamachi shopping arcade’ retaining an old taste.
Furthermore, you need to step into a side road called ‘Nayamachi center’ and you will find this antiquarian bookstore at the end.
They handle and specialize the books about ‘Mountain, mountain stream fishing, outdoor activity, vagrant life’
It is really hard to get there without any information. It is, so to speak, in the innermost depths of a local shopping arcade forest.
Even though it’s hard to find, they only specialize ‘mountain books’ and they are all ‘antiques’.
Moreover, their bookstore name is very unique. which means spinelss and weak old bookstore…
I was wondering if my expression is right or not, but it sounds super edgy. It almost tells me that I am a weak person somehow. What if the bookstore owner is a strict guy, but the bookstore name says ‘Nanjaku (weak)’… or he or she is just weak but very strict…
When I see the owner, neither of them fit his character. This is Mr.Mikihiko Nakayama. He is a very gentle man. There is an aura of ‘tolerance’ around him with kindness and self-confidence that must be grown through the asperity and magnificence in the mountain.
He used to work at a hotel. While he worked at a hotel, he started having a bookstore business on the internet in 2001. Actually, this bookstore opened last year in July, 2014.
He spends his time here a half of a week and the rest for his another job. Sounds like this bookstore is his side business or something.
A concept of this bookstore is inspired from ‘Meikeido’ which Mr.Nakayama visited frequently when he lived in Tokyo. (Meikeido exists no longer)
Mr.Nakayama says, “At that time, I was vaguely thinking to have a bookstore which only has about mountain, world maps and travels.”
All books are categorized perfectly in each corner. On the left side, you can see so many books about mountain.
A bookshelf you can see right in front of you has books about mountain stream fishing lining up.
Paperback books are organized at the center of the bookstore.
Moreover, they are all perfectly arranged and organized in Hiragana order (Japanese alphabetical order). It is quite fun to look at their covers.
By the way, the origin of its bookstore name ‘Nanjaku antiquarian bookstore’ came from the word that was used when Mr.Nakayama belonged to a mountaineering club.
He says, “In this mountaineering club, if someone made complaints about something, then the person who did will be called as ‘You! Sissy!’. Not only that, but also when someone used a new tool or something that nobody usually used, then anyone who did will be called ‘Sissy’ again. Even though someone talked to a girl, then the person who did will be pointed and called loudly as ‘You never understand our spirit!!! You are as weak as a bean sprout is!’ “.
He also says, “Mountain climbing is not only for stoic people, also has more different ways to have fun. Nanjaku also means to welcome all the people who want to just enjoy mountains.”
( ‘Mountain and Valley’ published before WWⅡ and cool ski magazine. )
To the mountain, forest, mountain stream and vagabond. Every book induces me to go ‘outside’.
All these titles attract me to have them in my hands and look through inside.
Mr. Nakayama smiled at me and says, “If you start reading them, you definitely want to go outside immediately.” It is perfectly true.
Mr.Nakayama has a strong feeling for this book. A travel book called ‘Kita-kiko’ written by Yoshiki Watanabe who headed toward Shiretoko peninsula in Hokkaido after he graduated Tokyo University without having any jobs.
‘ALP’ which was published after WWⅡ and last 300 issues. It mainly has a text of poem, prose and essay about mountaineering. This old magazine showed us literature of mountain climbing culture.
He saw me that I turned into one of his customers already and he recommended this book to me.
Outdoor activity picture book called ‘I stay in the forest for a moment’ written by Uncle Yonematsu. (photo : lower right )
Not only a cool cover, it has full of content about ‘How to find edible wild plants and how to cook them / Observation of stars in spring time / How to dress a river fish / Illustrated mushroom reference book’.
How much is this?
“They are all 300 yen.”
“How much is this?”
“All books in that box are 100 yen”
I kept asking him the price of the books I wanted and I actually bought several for myself.
Behind this reasonable price, he thinks ‘All books need to be cycled and therefore they are all worth for reading again and again’.
When you think of the mountain, there are so many ways to get involved.
“The most extravagant involvement to the mountain” is people who sketch and paint the mountain itself.
“In order to finish painting, it takes at least 30 minutes. They stand still and take a long look at the mountains around. What a luxury time, isn’t it?”
If you are not satisfied with fashionable outdoor activity, then you can find something to induce you deeper than ever at this .
If I see any men coming to this bookstore and not excited about anything, then I would say, “You! Sissy boy!”
ADDRESS : Nayamachi Center, 75 Hirano-cho, Fushimi-ku, Kyoto city (MAP)
HOURS : OPEN HOURS : Please check their website often