Utrecht

· Sunday February 22, 2015

An influential bookstore in a city where the heart of publishing still beats strong, Utrecht is a must-visit for those looking to uncover publications from local artists, photographers and self-publishers.

For over a decade Hiroshi Eguchi’s store has served as a favourite port of call for creators and publishers alike – a place where Japanese art publications (and the world they comprise) can be considered alongside their international counterparts. After calling Aoyama home for just over six years, the store shifted towards Shibuya at the end of last year and settled into an upstairs space in Jingumae that receives the most glorious bursts of morning sunshine. While the rooftop patio and birdhouses have been left behind, the new shop/gallery space is filled with rolling and sliding furniture that easily can be rearranged to accommodate talks, workshops and free-flowing exhibitions. As for the books, you’ll encounter various batches of printed matter on the racks, shelves and counter-rows, ranging from architectural literature to artist editions and DIY fan zines – many of which are sourced from the Utrecht-produced Tokyo Art Book Fair, an annual event that has come to attract a cult following.

The recent move has also yielded a new web store where you can not only peruse the publications you missed in store, but also sign up for limited goods such as the once-a-month bento service. Available for pre-order and purchase online, the lunch sets are the work of Chiori Yamamoto (aka Chioben), a popular chef who has come to master the art of delicious and delightfully well-balanced bento – be quick!