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Haruki Murakami Library

Step into a world curated by one of Japan’s most famous authors.

By Rachel Crane

The Waseda International House of Literature is better known as The Haruki Murakami Library.  The facility was made in tribute to the cult author who inspired its construction. Murakami himself conceived of the site as “a place that will allow you to pass through walls of all kinds.” As such, the Waseda International House of Literature is much more than just your average library: it’s a cultural hub that book lovers can enjoy.

Murakami’s World

The Waseda International House of Literature (Haruki Murakami Library)

Photo by: PIXTA/しずく Sit back, relax and listen to some jazz.

Murakami’s writing is known for its combination of the surreal and the mundane, and architect Kengo Kuma designed the Haruki Murakami Library – situated on the campus of the writer’s alma mater – with this in mind. Natural materials are juxtaposed with flowing, futuristic lines to evoke a sense of stepping into the celebrated author’s world.

The Audio Room is where fans can listen to a selection of records once featured at Peter Cat, a Tokyo jazz bar Murakami ran with his wife before finding success as a writer. Next door in the Gallery visitors will find Murakami’s complete works in numerous languages, free to read inside the library.

Upstairs, the Lab offers a peek inside the small recording studio used by Murakami to produce his former radio show, alongside an area for listening to the author’s books in audio format. This floor also houses the Exhibition Room, which features limited-time exhibitions related to themes and motifs from Murakami’s writing, such as architecture and jazz.

The basement floor houses a recreation of the author’s home study and the Orange Cat Café.

Authors Alive

The Waseda International House of Literature (Haruki Murakami Library)

Photo by: PIXTA/しずく The bookshelf also features works arranged by themes relevant to Murakami’s work.

Even readers unfamiliar with Murakami’s work can find plenty to enjoy at the library. Connecting the first and basement floors is a wooden staircase surrounded by a striking arch-shaped bookshelf where visitors can browse texts selected for inclusion by literary luminaries from Japan and abroad.

The basement floor is also used as an event space for cultural talks, including ‘Authors Alive’, where writers share their work with a live audience – sometimes even in the company of Haruki Murakami himself.

Things To Know

Hours and fees

The Waseda International House of Literature is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Thu. to Tue. and is free to enter without reservation for groups of up to 20 people.

Groups of 21 people or more must make a reservation via the contact details on the library’s website. Exhibition and event details are available online.

How To Get There

Address

By train

From Shinjuku station take the Yamanote line to Takadanobaba station. Transfer to the Tozai line and ride one stop to Waseda station. The Waseda International House of Literature is approximately 8 minutes away on foot.

Where To Stay

Rihga Royal Hotel Tokyo
  • 1-104-19 Kabushikigaishiya Riigaroiyaruhoteruwaseda, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo, 169-8613 Japan
  • ¥25,200 - ¥52,200
  • 4.3/5 (1,889 reviews)
  • 0.1 km
Hotel Chinzanso Tokyo
  • 2-10-8 Fujitakanko Kabushikigaishiya Hoteruchinzansotokiyo, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo, 112-8680 Japan
  • ¥82,800 - ¥674,280
  • 4.61/5 (1,119 reviews)
  • 0.4 km
Hotel Vintage Kagurazaka
  • 30 Nakazatocho, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo, 162-0804 Japan
  • ¥45,583 - ¥79,399
  • 3.5/5 (5 reviews)
  • 1.0 km
Vessel Inn Takadanobaba Station
  • 17-4 Takadanobaba, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo, 169-0075 Japan
  • ¥26,892 - ¥26,892
  • 4.54/5 (63 reviews)
  • 1.6 km
Sotetsu Grand Fresa Takadanobaba
  • 1-27-7 Takadanobaba, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo, 169-0075 Japan
  • ¥17,850 - ¥27,550
  • 4.43/5 (155 reviews)
  • 1.6 km

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