New Openings

Kadokawa Culture Museum’s New 8m-High Bookshelf Theatre With 50,000 Books Rivals Seoul’s Starfield Library

Kadokawa Culture Museum Bookshelf Theatre

The Kadokawa Culture Museum located in Saitama Prefecture revealed the museum’s 3rd, 4th, and 5th floors to the public on 6th November 2020. This includes the highly anticipated 8m-high Bookshelf Theatre on the 4th and 5th floors of the museum, which features 50,000 neatly arranged books. These books aren’t just for show – you can actually browse and read them.

Bookshelf Theatre opens in Kadokawa Culture Museum

Image adapted from: @pupil_38photograph

Image credit: @tn_nextstage

On 6th November 2020, the Kadokawa Culture Museum, located in Saitama Prefecture, opened the Bookshelf Theatre to the public. The Bookshelf Theatre features an 8m-high bookshelf that spans across the 4th and 5th floors of the museum. With 50,000 books in the entire collection and at least 30,000 on display, the neatly arranged bookshelf is an oddly satisfying sight to behold. 

Image credit: Kadokawa Musashino Museum

Due to the sheer number of books in the collection, it took almost a whole month to complete the arrangement onto the shelves.

Image credit: Kadokawa Musashino Museum

The books on display are publications by Genyoshi Kadokawa – the founder of Kadokawa Shoten publishing company – and books donated by industry experts like historians and researchers who have a close relationship with Kadokawa Shoten. 

Visitors who wish to browse the books on shelves that are out of reach are welcome to make a reservation with the museum. But even if you can’t secure a reservation, don’t fret – the entire collection of books will be rotated and rearranged from time to time.

Projection mapping on the shelves of books
Image credit: @yusaku_70_official

Projection mapping on the shelves of books
Image credit: @__yuu_kyiz__

The Bookshelf Theatre is named as such because the towering shelves of books become a screen through projection mapping, transforming the area into 360° theatre.

The Kadokawa Culture Museum

Image credit: Tokorozawa Sakura Town

The Kadokawa Culture Museum is designed by the world-famous Japanese architect Kengo Kuma. He is known for designing the Japan National Stadium that was constructed for the Tokyo Olympics 2020.

Image credit: @_iwatako

The building resembles a giant meteorite emerging from the earth. It is made of approximately 20,000 slabs of granite arranged diagonally and weighs a whopping 1,200,000kg. 

Manga library
Image credit: @je.mappelle.cj

Kado Cafe
Image credit: @sakura29ciao

On 1st August 2020, the museum held a soft launch and opened the first 2 floors of the building to the public. There is a manga library and a 1000m2 gallery exhibition space on the 1st floor, while the 2nd floor houses Kado Cafe and the museum shop. 

Newtype Anime Chronicle exhibition at the Entertainment Japan (EJ) Anime Museum
Image credit: @mskshjr

3 months after its soft launch, the rest of the museum is now finally open for real. The 3rd floor is occupied by the EJ Anime Museum, which is currently showing its first exhibition to commemorate the 35th anniversary of Newtype, a monthly anime magazine published by Kadokawa.

“That is why I want to be saved” by Ken + Julia Yonetani at the EDIT & Art Gallery
Image credit: @kenandjuliayonetani

The 4th and 5th floors are a combination of different spaces. The Musashino Corridor and Edit Town feature collections of books, while the Aramata Museum, EDIT & ART Gallery, and Musashino Gallery spotlight unique collections of both art pieces and artefacts. Most of the exhibitions held in the galleries are temporary and will change from time to time.

Other attractions within Tokorozawa Sakura Town

Bird’s-eye view of Tokorozawa Sakura Town

Tokorozawa Sakura Town
Image adapted from: @owl_sheltie

The Kadokawa Culture Museum is part of the 25,000m2 Tokorozawa Sakura Town – a collaboration between Kadokawa Publishing Corporation and Tokorozawa City in Saitama Prefecture. Tokorozawa Sakura Town is one of Japan’s largest hotspots for Japanese pop culture.

Staircase from Kadokawa Culture Museum to Japan Pavilion
Image credit: @arimu9

Image credit: @momogram3

Japan Pavilion at night
Image credit: @okamotos_world

Tokorozawa Sakura Town is home to several attractions including the EJ Anime Hotel, the Japan Pavilion, the hyper-modern Musashino Reiwa Shrine, and teamLab: Resonating Life in the Acorn Forest.

The Japan Pavilion has a futuristic and edgy design. There are 2 event halls that can host events such as esports tournaments, musicals, and film screenings. The larger hall can accommodate up to 1,800 people while the smaller hall can fit 200.

Musashino Reiwa Shrine
Image adapted from: @four.seasons_y

The Musashino Reiwa Shrine is similarly designed by Kengo Kuma, the architect that designed the Kadokawa Culture Museum and the Bookshelf Theatre. Red steel torii gates lead up to the modern shrine.

teamLab: Resonating Life in the Acorn Forest
Image credit: @mkst_ph

teamLab: Resonating Life in the Acorn Forest
Image credit: @mkst_ph

teamLab: Resonating Life in the Acorn Forest is located in the Musashino Woods of Higashi Tokorozawa Park, which is beside Tokorozawa Sakura Town. The permanent digital exhibition consists of ovoid-shaped installations that light up at night and change colour when you touch them.

Kadokawa Culture Museum in Tokorozawa Sakura Town

Most of the attractions in the Kadokawa Culture Museum and Tokorozawa Sakura Town are permanent, so you can plan a trip there the next time you visit Japan. The full list of ticket prices for the Kadokawa Culture Museum is available on their website. You can also purchase tickets for teamLab’s installation at a discounted rate on the museum’s website.

teamLab: Resonating Life in the Acorn Forest
Address: 3-9, Higashi-Tokorozawa Wada, Tokorozawa-shi, 359-0023 Saitama, Musashino Woods Park in Higashi-Tokorozawa Park
Opening hours: Wed – Mon 12PM-4PM and 5PM-10PM (Last admission at 9.30PM)
Ticket price: from ¥500 (~USD4.84) for adults, from ¥400 (~USD3.87) for students (13-18 years old), from ¥300 (~USD2.90) for children (7-12 years old)

Kadokawa Culture Museum
Address: 3-31-3 Higashi Tokorozawa, Tokorozawa City, 359-0023 Saitama
Opening hours: Sun – Thu 10AM-6PM (Last admission at 5.30PM) | Fri & Sat 10AM-9PM (Last admission at 8.30PM; Closed on every 1st, 3rd, and 5th Tuesday of the month)
Ticket price: from ¥1,200 (~USD11.61) for adults, from ¥1,000 (~USD9.67) for junior high and high school students, from ¥800 (~USD7.74) for elementary school students

Check out these articles for more new openings:

Cover image adapted from: @architecturejapansaitama and @tn_nextstage

Ethel Chiang

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