Trivia, Useful Information

Breaking the Myth #2: Japanese people Study in the Library

Yet another misconception about Japan is proliferating in Youtube.  My first glimpse of a Japanese library was actually from this video.  Needless to say, I was a bit disappointed when I visited the Fukuoka City Public Library and found out that no one wanted to play this game with me.

While we are in the business of talking about Japanese libraries, have anyone else noticed how silent they are?  I mean libraries are generally silent venues, but a Japanese library seems to be extremely silent.  Libraries I’ve been to are as silent as Japanese subway stations (they are quite quiet places too!), but Japanese libraries are in a whole new level.  I could hear every turn of the page I make, and I couldn’t help but worry that the person next to me will ask me to keep quiet!

In fact, even the alarms are silent.  I checked out some books, but one of them didn’t seem to register properly in the automated check out machine.  As I walked past the security bars, it made a very silent beep that no one but me heard.  I could have run away with a book if I didn’t go back to the counter myself and had it checked!

Even without the need to read some books while you are in Fukuoka, the main branch is good destination by itself (its walking distance from the Fukuoka Tower).  It is a two story structure, with ambient natural light illuminating the reading areas.  It is well stocked collection (It also holds the Kyushu United Nations Depository Library Collection), and you will find the library filled with people, old and young alike any time of the day. I also noted that throughout the summer break, the library was still full of young kids reading and studying.  These kids never take a break from learning!

By the way, to borrow books in the public libraries of Fukuoka, you just need to present your Alien Certificate of Registration and they can give you a library card right there.  You can borrow books for a period of 2 weeks, after which you can renew them for another two weeks.  Once you have your library card, you can search their collection and even reserve books online.  The Fukuoka City Library (map) has an extensive collection of English and other foreign language books and magazines on the second floor.  It also has kiosks with “English” menus for searching.  They even have a screening room with regular movie showings (almost always Japanese though). Of course, if books magazines and movies don’t interest you as much as the sound of silence, the library is still the place to be.

*The main library is usually closed on Mondays, but it varies so check the website before heading there.

The City Library also has branches in different parts of the City:

Fukuoka City Chuo Library 2-5-8 Akasaka, Chuo-ku Telephone: 092-751-9534

Fukuoka City Hakata Library 1-13-10 Sanou, Hakata-ku Telephone: 092-472-5996

Fukuoka City Hakata Minami Library 2-3-1 Minami Honmachi, Hakata-ku Telephone: 092-502-8580

Fukuoka City Higashi Library 1-12-1 Kasumigaoka, Higashi-ku Telephone: 092-661-2125 7

Fukuoka City Jonan Library 5-3-25 Katae, Jonan-ku Telephone: 092-864-4823

Fukuoka City Minami Library 2-8-2 Shiohara, Minami-ku Telephone: 092-561-3048

Fukuoka City Nishi Library 957-1 Meinohama-cho, Nishi-ku Telephone: 092-884-3874

Fukuoka City Sawara Library 2-2-1 Momochi, Sawara-ku Telephone: 092-845-8835

Fukuoka City Wajiro Library 1-22-27 Wajirooka, Higashi-ku Telephone: 092-608-8490

Fukuoka City Wajiro Library 1-22-27 Wajirooka, Higashi-ku Telephone: 092-608-8490

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