You’ll Be Surrounded by More Than 17,000 Books at This Library in Osaka

You can read to your heart's delight for free.

Kodomo Hon no Mori Nakanoshima
1-1-38 Nakanoshima, Kita District, Osaka City
Opening day is to be announced.
Admission fee: Free

There’s a new children’s library in Nakanoshima, Osaka called
Kodomo Hon no Mori Nakanoshima, and our team got to check the place out before it opens to the public.

At the press launch of Kodomo Hon no Mori Nakanoshima

This library was born from the proposal of
Tadao Ando, an architect from Osaka. He thought of building Kodomo Hon no Mori Nakanoshima as a facility to boost children’s creativity through books and art culture. It also serves as a donation to the city of Osaka. It is his way to reach out for more businesses to support the city.

The exterior of Kodomo Hon no Mori Nakanoshima.

The architecture is designed by Ando himself. It’s a 3-story building made with iron and concrete and is about 800 square meters in total. Inside, there is a big staircase in the middle, and most of the walls inside the architecture are bookshelves so it feels like you are surrounded by books.

It’s a library where you feel surrounded by books.

This library has 17,821 books (including 4,735 books donated by its citizens). They are categorized into 12 original themes like “let’s play with nature,” “for animal lovers,” and “let’s think about the future.” Most of the books are picture books and children’s literature, but illustrated encyclopedias are interesting for adults as well.

Books basically cannot be borrowed, but you can bring them within the Nakanoshima Park to read. There is also a section called “Ano Hito no Hondana (That person’s bookshelf),” where books of people related to the library are introduced regularly. The first person to introduce is Shinya Yamanaka, who also is the honored library director of this library.

Original goods

This library also has a unique logo which is rare for a public library and sells original goods like Aoringo Ame (Green Apple Candy) in collaboration with PINE known for its pineapple candies, and Sokuryo Yacho (Surveying notebook) by KOKUYO. You can also get
Itazura no suki na Kenchikuka, the first book by Ando.

Osaka City Mayor Matsui Ichiro, Ando, and his team.

During the press launch, Mayor Matsui and Ando were present. Matsui expressed his feelings by saying, “A lot of children can build their knowledge, creativity, and imagination by being surrounded by many books and reading. I hope this place becomes a place to give birth to the leader of the next generation for Osaka.” Ando said, “It’s very unfortunate that the opening is delayed (due to the coronavirus). I hope children are excited about this library and become more and more excited. This place is the center of Osaka culture, with Osaka City Central Public Hall across the street and Osaka Prefectural Library in the back. I wish children who come to this center of the culture take part in the next era. I also hope that Osaka will start something that Tokyo or the whole of Japan cannot.”


Ando, the architect who designed Kodomo Hon no Mori Nakanoshima

This library was supposed to open on 1 March, but due to the coronavirus, it is now delayed. The opening day will be shown on the website when it is decided.

The green apple object. 

Provided by Japan Walker™, Walkerplus™, and Kansai Walker™ (2 March 2020)

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