What is Haruki Murakami best book?
Kafka on The Shore might be the most mentioned one, but The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle. Norwegian Wood, and After The Quake shall be on the list too. If you are always been a fan of Haruki Murakami, then you should add the Haruki Murakami Library in Tokyo to your travel wishlist!
Haruki Murakami just got a library named after him at his alma mater in Waseda University, Tokyo. Designed by Japanese architect Kengo Kuma, the university's new building is dedicated to the work of the novelist. Also known as the Waseda International House of Literature, the library is set to open next month, but visitors can book their visit online right now.
The Haruki Murakami Library holds over 3.000 of his books translated into 50 different languages. You can also find unpublished archives donated by the writer himself, including that rough drafts, handwritten manuscripts, and over 20.000 vinyl records from his personal collection from his 40 years of his novelist career.
Since the beginning of the designing process, Kuma envisions this library to be the place where anyone, including Murakami, comes and discusses the novelist works and the literature world. Unlike a typical library that tends to be formal and quiet, this library is the place to discuss and talk about his books.
You can tell that this is nothing like a regular library from the outside. Kengo Kuma's architecture style is one of the most praised in the world and it reflects in the building facade. Moving deeper, you can find a stair with bookshelves that seamlessly forming arches from the ground to the third floor.
At the lower ground level, you can find the Orange Cat cafe, right next to arched bookshelves where visitors can sit on the steps as they are hovering the titles on the display. The other room on this level is a replica of Murakami's current study room, where he spend most of his time writing.
You can find an audio room that plays Murakami's favorite tracks and the gallery that displays over 1.400 copies of Murakami's first edition books at the first floor. Meanwhile, the second floor has a lab, gallery, and exhibition space with art installations curated by the Waseda Internal House of Literature.
Take a closer look at this remarkable library in the video above!
Halal food nearby
While you are visiting this library, don't forget to drop by these halal eateries nearby!
Waseda University Cafeteria
Credit: Takehiro via Halal Media JP
Yes, you read it right. Waseda University has a cafeteria that serves halal meals that use halal chicken. The cafeteria is open for general public and available in affordable price! The halal meals not only available at the Waseda campus but also at the Nishiwaseda campus of faculty of science and engineering.
INEYA Halal Bento
Credit: Nurul Burhan via Halal Media JP
Also known as Bento Pak Jogya (the owner lived in Yogyakarta for 7 years!), this bento shop has several halal choices. From chicken katsu, ajisai, and karaage, each bento priced between 500-600 Yen. Do not hesitate to chat with the owner in Bahasa Indonesia for you can get free sweet hot tea or fruits!
Address: Tokyo, Shinjuku City, Nishiwaseda, 1 Chome−4−17
Operational hours: Mon-Fri 11.20AM-7PM, Saturday 11.30AM-3PM
Embassy Halal Restaurant Mirha
If you up for something more fulfilling and rich in flavor, you can walk a bit further from the university to this eatery. Embassy serves numerous bento, curry, naan, and other Middle Eastern as well as Asian dishes.
Address: Hyakunincho 2-9-15 (Lions Mansion Shin-Okubo 2)
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