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6 Recommendations for Unique Libraries in Japan, Come on, Take a Japanese Literary Journey!

6 Recommendations for Unique Libraries in Japan, Come on, Take a Japanese Literary Journey! – Want to take an immersive youth trip to Japan? There are many “book attractions” related to books in Japan, such as the Daikanyama Tsutaya Bookstore, known as the most beautiful bookstore in the world, or the used book street in the Kanda Jimbocho area, Tokyo. These special attractions can provide a glimpse into Japan’s emphasis on “books.”

Therefore, the book industry in Japan always injects a lot of creativity or refreshing libraries designed by famous architects to arouse people’s interest in books and immerse them in them.

This time, we will introduce Japafans to six unique libraries in Japan and take you into the world of reading!

Yusuhara City Library (Kunjoe Library)

Located in Kochi Prefecture, Yusuhara City Library (梢槢市立図书馆 (云の上の図书馆)) was built by renowned architect, Kengo Kuma. This library is also known as the “Unshang Library” and is also known as the “Unshang Library”. The most beautiful library in Shikoku.”

This library opened in 2018. The design concept is “symbiosis between humans and nature”, so it uses native Yuyuan cypress trees. It aims to preserve and inherit the unique culture of Yuyuan for thousands of years and serve as a base for information dissemination.

The roof of the library uses the eagle joint construction method, and the full wooden structure makes the ceiling look like an upside-down forest. Such an innovative design is not only stunning, but has also won many awards, and has become a representative architectural facility in Kochi Prefecture.

Apart from its unique architectural features, Yunshang Library’s facilities are also different from other libraries. To create a retreat where all generations can communicate easily, the library is equipped with climbing facilities and a cafe, where books can be easily accessed. The library is not just a place to study.

Moreover, compared to the strict regulations in other libraries, Yunshang Library is relatively more friendly towards tourists. Not only is it completely open to visit, but you can even eat, drink and talk on the phone. But still be polite and don’t disturb other people.

Location Information

  • Location: 1212-2 Yusuhara, Yusuhara-cho, Takaoka-gun, Kochi Prefecture
  • Transportation: Get off at JR Station “Susaki Station” then transfer to the Kochi Koryō Kotsu Bus and get off at “Yuzwara-cho” stop
  • Opening hours: 9:00-20:00
  • Closing time: Tuesday (every week), Friday (last week of every month)

Takeo City Library

Takeo City Library, located in Saga Prefecture, is also known as the “most beautiful library”.

The library was renovated in 2013 to integrate Tsutaya Bookstore and Starbucks. It is the first public library in Japan to introduce a private bookstore and cafe. The Takeo Library renovation project was led by Miyahara Arata, architect of Tsutaya Bookstore. A large circular skylight is used to let natural light into the library, making the space brighter and more spacious.

The renovated Takeo City Library not only won the “Good Design Award”, but also became a popular tourist attraction. In addition to domestic literary and artistic youth, foreign tourists will also make the pilgrimage, bringing nearly 1 million tourists to Takeo City, which has a population of only 50,000 people. It can be said to be the greatest tourist attraction in Japanese history. The most successful library renovation program ever.

In order not to disturb other readers, there are only two places in the Takeo City Library that are open for photography. If you have special interview and photography needs, you can also submit a request to the museum in advance. Registration email:

location information

  • Location: 5304-1 Takeo, Takeo-cho, Takeo City, Saga Prefecture
  • Transportation: Walk for about 15 minutes from JR Sasebo Line “Takeo Onsen” Station, or take a bus after arriving at the station:
  1. Take the Youde Bus to the stop “図书馆前”
  2. JR Kyushu Hashiri Station “Yume City”
  • Opening hours: 9:00-21:00
  • Closing hours: None

Museum Kadokawa Musano

The Kadokawa Musashino Museum (Kadokawa Musashino Museum) located in Tokorozawa City, Saitama Prefecture, is a large-scale complex facility jointly planned by the Japanese publishing house “KADOKAWA” and Tokorozawa City. There is a library, art gallery, and museum within the facility.

The building itself was designed by architect Kengo Kuma. The exterior is made of 20,000 pieces of granite, which looks like rocks lifted from the ground. Looks very majestic. The most representative interior is the 8-meter-high “Bookshelf Theater (Honpen Theater)” which stretches from the 4th to 5th floors.

Standing on this giant bookshelf, you will feel like you are in a Harry Potter scene. This bookshelf theater will host projection shows regularly, and the projections blend with the books to provide an even more fantastic experience.

This location is also the location where YOASOBI participated in the red and white photo shoot in 2020. For YOASOBI fans, this place can be included in the holy land tourist list.

Although there are no photography restrictions at the Kadokawa Musashino Museum, a ticket is required to enter the museum. There are four main types of ticket prices: library tickets, standard tickets, single-day all-area tickets, and late bird tickets. Each ticket type has a different ticket price as well as the times and ranges that can be used:

Full ticket (students and above) National High School elementary school students
Library tickets (excludes Bookshelf Theatre) 600 yen 300 yen 200 yen
Standard tickets (includes Bookshelf Theatre) 1,400 yen 1,200 yen 1,000 yen
One-day tickets for the entire area (weekdays) (including the Bookshelf Theater) 3,100 yen 2,600 yen 1,800 yen
One day ticket for all areas (holidays) (including Bookshelf Theatre) 3,500 yen 2,900 yen 2,100 yen
Starlight Tickets throughout (including Bookshelf Theatre) 2,800 yen 2,300 yen 1,600 yen

Location Information

  • Lokasi: 3-31-3 Higashi Tokorozawa Wada, Kota Tokorozawa, Prefektur Saitama
  • Access: Walk about 10 minutes from Higashi Tokorozawa Station on the JR Musashino Line.
  • Opening hours: Sunday to Thursday: 10:00-18:00, Friday and Saturday: 10:00~21:00
  • Closing time: First, third and fifth Tuesday of every month (if Tuesday falls on a national holiday, it will be closed the following day)

Library Kanazawa Kaimiku

Kanazawa Kai Mirai Library (Kanazawa Kai Mirai Library), located in Kanazawa City, Ishikawa Prefecture, opened in May 2011. It was praised by the British BBC as “the four most beautiful public libraries in the world” and was also cited by the American tourist guide as selected as one of the “20 Best Libraries in the World” by Library Book.

The design concept for the Kanazawa Umi Mirai Library, which has won many public architecture awards, comes from sea foam. Small pieces of sea foam formed by jumping waves were transformed into more than 6,000 round windows (200/250/300 mm in size) in the walls, allowing natural light to enter regularly. The round windows spill into the library, filling the interior with soft light. Coupled with the openness provided by the high ceiling, it creates a calm and comfortable reading space.

If you want to take photos at the Kanazawa Umi Mirai Library, you must register at the counter at the entrance on the first floor. Fill in the reason for taking photos on site (must be in Japanese) and provide your ID card. After answering the reviewer’s questions, you can obtain a “Photography Permit Passport” which you must wear at all times when taking photos at the museum.

Location Information

  • Lokasi: 1-1 Teranakacho I, Kota Kanazawa, Prefektur Ishikawa
  • Transportation method: Hokuriku Railway Tomoe Line “Kanazawa Umi Mirai Library” station
  • Opening hours: Weekdays: 10:00-19:00, weekends and public holidays: 10:00~17:00
  • Closing hours: Every Wednesday (open on national holidays), on special holidays, and on Chinese New Year (please see the announcement on the official website for more information)

Toyama City Library Main Building

The Toyama City Library Main Building (Toyama City Library Main Building) located in Toyama is a complex facility shared with the Toyama City Glass Museum and was officially completed in 2015. The building was designed by the famous Japanese architect, Kengo Kuma. The exterior of the building uses three different materials, namely Mikage stone, glass, and aluminum, which are abundant locally. The three are arranged in an irregular combination.

They can reflect sunlight from all angles and make the entire building sparkling. This building is a Toyama landmark building, so this building is named “TOYAMA KIRARI” (Kirari means shining in Japanese).

The library interior was designed using wood produced in Toyama. As soon as you enter the library, you can smell the wood, and glass reflections are used to expand the sense of space. Its greatest feature is the terrace design, which allows sunlight to enter the library. Not only can you appreciate the changes in light and shade, but you also feel like you’re bathed in sunlight.

You can take photos in the library, and the library has prepared the best photo spots so that visitors can take satisfying photos. There are also glass exhibitions that can be enjoyed, but taking pictures is prohibited at the Glass Art Museum on the 6th floor. You must first go to the first floor to buy tickets before you can enter. The ticket price is 200 yen, and is free for middle school students and below.

Location Information

  • Lokasi: 5-1 Nishimachi, Kota Toyama
  • Transportation: About 20 minutes walk from JR “Toyama” Station → Toyama Tram to “Nishimachi” station
  • Opening hours: Sunday to Thursday: 09:30-19:00, Friday and Saturday: 09:30~20:00
  • Closing time: First Wednesday of every month (if Wednesday falls on a national holiday, it will close the following day)

Gifu City Central Library

The Gifu Municipal Central Library, located on the former site of Gifu University, is the work of architectural design master Toyo Ito that took more than four years and was completed in 2015. The sleek building combines a library, learning center, and multimedia with various functions such as audio-visual, Gifu City Central Library is named “Everyone’s Forest” and bears the responsibility of “returning to nature” and “transmitting knowledge”. The space inside the library breaks the traditional perception of dividing areas and uses a semi-circular globe like a lampshade to distinguish themed book exhibitions, youth areas, parent-child reading areas, etc. Each area has its own exclusive theme design to create an exclusive space. This arc lampshade is made of white polyester fiber, and each pattern design is different. The sunlight from outside flows down with the curvature of the canopy, gently covering the entire space, creating an environment where people can read quietly. The lampshade not only has a beautiful appearance design, but also has a sensor installed inside the lampshade, which has the practical function of dimming, ventilation and ventilation.

The Gifu City Central Library does not explicitly prohibit photography, but you should still be careful not to disturb other readers when taking photos.

location information

  • Location: 40-5 Tsukasa-cho, Gifu City, Gifu Prefecture
  • Transportation: It takes about 25 minutes to walk from JR “Gifu” Station or Meitetsu “Gifu” Station.
  • Or you can arrive at the following stations: Gifu City Hall / Cosmos Media Station / City Hall / West Cosmos Media Station / City Hall / Court Front Station / City Hall / Uguisudani High School Exit Station
  • Opening hours: 9:00-20:00
  • Closing time: Last Tuesday of the month (if a national holiday, then the following Tuesday; if a New Year holiday, then the Tuesday of the previous week). And New Year holidays: December 31 to January 3

Let’s experience the serene beauty and literary atmosphere of the Japanese library together

This time I will introduce you to six unique libraries in Japan. For Japan, a library is not only a place to collect books, but also a place where readers can talk with books. With the blessing of architects who respect nature, they created a unique library. It’s a place where people roam, and you can’t wait to go there and travel the world with books!

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