Vegetarian's Japan Guide

Kadokawa Musashino Museum: The Must-Visit Spot in Saitama

The coolest spot in Tokorozawa City is Tokorozawa Sakura Town. It was built by the city and Kadokawa Corporation, a Japanese media company. In particular, the Kadokawa Musashino Museum (角川武蔵野ミュージアム) is an awe-inspiring building. Not only does it have a magnificent appearance, but the museum’s interior is equally amazing.

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Tip: Download the audio guide app HERE to get a more detailed understanding of the museum when you get there.

About Kadokawa Musashino Museum

Just a 10-minute walk from Higashi-Tokorozawa Station (東所沢駅), a gigantic rock will suddenly rise from the ground. The 30-meter tall structure was designed by the famous architect Kuma Kengo (隈研吾). Approximately 20,000 pieces of granite were used to construct the hexadecahedron building.

This building was opened in November 2020, filled with contemporary elements, and perfectly fits Japan’s largest pop culture base, Tokorozawa Sakura Town.

The Bookshelf Theater (本棚劇場)

If you love art and books, you can easily spend half a day in this modern and innovative museum. Aside from the periodic art exhibitions and a local historical museum, the must-see in the museum is the Bookshelf Theater on levels four and five. While the name doesn’t sound too exciting, wait until you see the 8-meter tall hall with all the walls covered by bookshelves filled with more than 20,000 books!

You might wonder why the shelves are uneven and of different heights. Some books are even placed horizontally instead of in the normal vertical position.

These are all parts of Kuma Kengo’s design, making the bookshelf seemingly float up to the ceiling. In addition, it is a space that reflects how Kengo imagines a human brain’s structure.

Tip: An impressive light show is also projected on the books about every 30 minutes (refer to the 2nd to the last photo in the IG post).

Other Parts of Kadokawa Musashino Museum

The cool Bookshelf Theater isn’t the only library in Kadokawa Musashino Museum. All floors have a space dedicated to books. Whether it is novels, comics, or other categories, you can surely find a book of interest. There are also English options for you to explore and read. The most fascinating book series we found were related to the Official Routes in Japan, such as the famous Tōkaidō (東海道). You can refer to the 4th photo in the left Instagram post below.

ARAMATA Wunderkammer is a corner on the same floor as the Bookshelf Theater that is also worth checking out. Quirky exhibits, such as supernatural photos and people’s hair, can be found here. On the other hand, it is a spot where you can hold a real fossil found in Japan.

What an anime lover would enjoy the most is the EJ Anime Museum (EJアニメミュージアム) on the third floor. This is where exhibition events for famous animes are held. If you read Japanese, visit the Manga & Light Novel Library (マンガ・ラノベ図書館) on the first floor. The space is like a Manga cafe. Autographs and anime character figures can also be found here!

The Musashino Uruwashiki Yamatono Miyashiro (武蔵野坐令和神社)

Lastly, don’t miss out on the designer-designed shrine in the courtyard. Kuma Kengo and other well-known artists also designed the Musashino Uruwashiki Yamatono Miyashiro (武蔵野坐令和神社).

If you are a fan of Final Fantasy, the ceiling should particularly appeal to you as it was designed by Amano Yoshitaka (天野 喜孝), who produced conceptual design pieces for the game series. Retaining the essential elements of a Japanese shrine, these designers created an amazing modern praying space for those seeking internal peace.

The Katashiro-nagashi at Ritual at Musashino Uruwashiki Yamatono Miyashiro

An interesting ritual you can perform at Musashino Uruwashiki Yamatono Miyashiro Shrine is called Katashiro-nagashi.

It is said that by blowing into the human-shaped paper three times and floating it down the small stream in the precinct, bad fortunes are taken away from you.

Kadokawa Musashino Museum’s Opening Hours, Admission Fees, and Access Information

  • Kadokawa Musashino Museum is open from
    • 10 am to 6 pm from Sunday to Thursday
    • 10 am to 9 pm on Friday and Saturday
  • The last admission is 30 minutes before closing time.
  • The museum closes on the 1st, 3rd, and 5th Tuesday. If Tuesday is a public holiday, the museum will close on the next business day.
  • The KadoCafe and SACULA DINER have different business hours.
  • Almost all areas of the museum require an admission ticket, refer to the official website HERE for more information and pre-purchase your ticket.
  • You can also purchase Manga & Light Novel Library admission ticket through kkday HERE.
  • Kadokawa Musashino Museum is a 10-minute walk from JR Higashi-Tokorozawa Station (東所沢駅).

Tip: You can also purchase the admission tickets through kkday or klook.

Explore Other Attractions in Tokorozawa

Click the photo for the recommended attractions in Tokorozawa City!

Tokorozawa City, next to Kawagoe, has a good mix of nature and urban elements. In particular, you will be amazed by the magnificence and uniqueness of the Kadokawa Musashino Museum’s building. The Bookshelf Theater inside the museum resembles the world of Harry Potter! In addition, you can enjoy fruit picking in Tokorozawa!

For more information, refer to our article on Tokorozawa!

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