Jun 11, 2018

Best libraries in Japan

Hi! I’m listing ideas of things to do during long breaks (that don’t cost a lot), and I thought of doing a library tour. Do you have any suggestions on libraries in this country that are worth visiting? Also would appreciate it if you can give reasons why. Thanks!



A teacher by profession, yet always a student of life. Currently living in Kanto, but in love with Kyushu.

7 Answers

Best Answer

  • Izumowashi

    on Jun 15

    My recommendation is the International Library of Children's Literature, or Kokusai Kodomo Toshokan, at Ueno Park, Tokyo. The library was built as the first Japanese national library at 1906. In 2000s, the western-style classic building was renovated by Tadanobu Ando, one of the most prominent architect in Japan. You can feel classic and super-modern architecture at same time! http://www.kodomo.go.jp/english/index.html

  • hellonihon

    on Jun 11

    My first recommendation is a bit out of the way for most people, but I recommend the Akita International University library. It was recently built but it is gorgeous! In fact, there are often news segments about it and occasionally filming within it. It even won design awards! You can check out some pictures here: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:AIU_Library.png http://www.g-mark.org/award/describe/41646 And because it's an international university (with all classes taught in English) there are a lot of English books and movies. I used to attend university there, so I never had any trouble checking out any books. However, I'm not sure how it is for non university students. I know that, when I was a student, community members could freely enter, but I'm not sure if that's changed at all.

  • helloalissa

    on Jun 11

    That's a fun idea, but I can't say there are any impressive libraries I've seen in Japan, yet. (Our local one is cute, but not anything special.) I'm interested to see what other people recommend to maybe see one day. It would be fun if you made a zine all about the libraries you visit - I'd love to see that!

  • genkidesu

    on Jun 12

    I only know of university libraries too - I haven't even visited my local public library here yet, sadly! The International University of Japan's library out here in Niigata is really beautiful and has fantastic views of greenery and the mountains (and the snow in the winter months!) but I'm not sure about access for those who aren't students or staff there.

  • Jackson

    on Jun 15

    If you are ever in the area, Media Cosmos is the newest library in Gifu City with a really great collection of modern books. The library itself also has a really cool design that fosters a really peaceful mood for reading, especially at night.

  • Saitama

    on Jun 25

    There is a library in Hanno City that is famous for its architecture: http://www.ishimoto.co.jp/e/products/3598/

  • shaner

    on Jun 29

    There's supposedly a really amazing library in Akita. https://matcha-jp.com/en/1208


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