The recently-opened Kadokawa Musashino Museum is the vision of world-renowned architect Kengo Kuma in collaboration with Kadokawa Publishing. This oddly-shaped building was designed to give the appearance of a rock floating on water. The stone exterior of the building is an impressive mosaic of 20,000 granite titles, painstakingly cut into unique triangle shapes and stacked together like polygons on a 3D model. With its imposing, monolithic exterior design, it certainly takes center stage in the otherwise average suburban area of Tokorozawa.
An eye-catching exterior is not the only thing that Kadokawa Museum can boast about. The inside houses a multitude of contents including an impressive library with a stunning light show, an art gallery, and a museum that all fuse together to create a one-of-a-kind experience.
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Explore the Many Areas of Kadokawa Museum
Starting with the 4th floor is the section referred to as Edit Town. This space is said to be designed to resemble a town that is inhabited by books. Broken up into 9 different categories, visitors can enjoy reading up on a wide range of topics. The museum’s designs continue into this area as well. With various books covered in colorful coverings hanging from the ceiling and TV screens naturally blended into the bookshelves, no matter what direction you look in, your eyes will be in for a treat.
Mid-way through Edit Town you’ll find a different section called Wunderkammer, which is a German word meaning Closet of Curiosities. Here you will find a diverse variety of interesting pieces which include a stuffed alligator which hangs from the ceiling and a colorful X-ray display of various animals.
An Eye-Popping Light Display Mixed with an Impressive Library
One feature that cannot be missed is the Bookshelf Theatre. This impressive display of thousands of books also has its own unique lightshow. Looking up at the shelves that seemingly cascade down from the ceiling like a waterfall, you’ll see that the Bookshelf Theatre is actually spread across the 4th & 5th floors and even the staircase that connects the two is littered with books. The light show takes place over bookshelves, incorporating their positions into the displays.
On the top floor is another section of the museum dedicated to the history of Kadokawa Shoten, with the story of founder Genyoshi Kadokawa as well as the history of the area of Musashino. Kadokawa Publishing is well known for their manga, and make no mistake, this facility also has its own manga collection as well. Located back on the 1st floor is the Manga & Light Novel Library, which features a wide variety of different manga, including the manga version of the Neon Genesis Evangelion.
The museum officially opened to the public on November 6th, 2020. For details on hours, admissions, and locations, please see below.
Christian Dakin is an editor, designer, and video game director currently based out of Tokyo, Japan. Originally from a small town in Georgia, he studied in Japan for a year in college before returning again for work. Christian enjoys studying Japanese and the outdoors. In his off time, he is most likely to be found adventuring to a castle, belting it out in karaoke with friends, or in a gym somewhere.