Designed by multi-award-winning architect Kengo Kuma and Associates, this museum was created to look like a giant rock floating on water. It uses an impressive 20,000 pieces of granite. Although the outside looks like a huge boulder, the inside feels airy and is full of wood and natural elements. Inside is an expansive five-floor library, exhibitions, and cultural spaces.
Owned by Kadokawa Corporation, one of Japan’s largest publishing companies, there is a strong influence and major focus on manga and anime throughout the complex.
The fifth floor is home to the Mushashino gallery which presents information about the area using 3D maps and virtual reality. It also houses a restaurant featuring local produce. Be sure to leave this floor by the Attic Step, which is a nook gallery of about 3,000 titles that author, translator, natural historian, and yokai (Japanese monsters expert) Hiroshi Aramata has selected from his private collection.
The fourth floor has Edit Town, a space containing 25,000 books from around the world, so visitors can immerse themselves in books and ideas from far-flung places. Grab a book, a nook, and lose yourself for a while. Also on this floor is the stunning Bookshelf Theatre, complete with 26-foot (eight-meter) tall bookshelves that house 50,000 books. The third floor is for the anima fans, the whole floor is dedicated to the EJ Anime museum.
The second floor is where the entrance, lobby, and information are located, while the first floor is home to more temporary exhibits.
Visitors can enter the building for free and wander around the public spaces, but the library and exhibition areas require a ticket. It’s best to buy tickets online. For architecture, book, manga, and art lovers, this is a great place to hang out for the day.
Know Before You Go
The museum is open Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. with the last admission at 5:30 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, the museum is open from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. with the last admission at 8:30 p.m..
The restaurant is open from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. and the last admission is at 9:30 p.m..