As a Wakayama native and longtime Tokyo resident, I (=Kayon) don't know much about Osaka, nor do I have much of a sense of the place. This series focuses on how a person like myself heads into the streets of Osaka and tries to discover interesting places.
In this installment, I would like to introduce a book-loaning coffee shop in Osaka's Kita-Horie called Chochobokko. Inspired by a BBS set up in March by Cest-mignon, an art supply store in my local area of Wakayama that I found out about early in the year, I quickly went off to find an appealing-looking shop that I accidentally came across while surfing the Web.
The shop was started by four book-loving women in spring of last year. After bringing their own books to an apartment, they opened a small, private reading room with a membership system that allowed visitors to borrow the books. To allow people to sip a cup of tea as they read, the women have also put a few chairs and sofas in the room. Spending a relaxed time in the room is truly the height of luxury.
The name Chochobokko was coined by combining the word chocho_(butterfly), for the resemblance it shares with an open book, and the bokko (laze) of the word hinatabokko (laze in the sun). The sound of "bokko" is also recalls the word, "book." And there is something wonderfully charming about the name.
For the four women, whose love of books is so limitless that whenever time allows, they make the rounds of used book shops, wander through new book stores and even stand and read in convenience stores, there is no greater pleasure than passing the days away with a cup of coffee and a book.
Recently, along with some other friends, the four also began putting out a mini-newspaper called The Book Shelf. They are also widening their circle of fellow book-lovers by holding used-book bazaars and other events.
This is No. 1 in my "Secrets of Hidden Places" series, featuring the top spots I have stumbled on in Osaka.