The Museum of Picture Books in Fukushima, Japan

Grownup bookshelves almost always have the books lined up spine-side out, so that you stand politely with your hands behind your back and your head tilted uncomfortably to the left or the right.

Children bookshelves really should have the books lined up cover-side out, so that your hands reach out eagerly and your head looks up down left and right until you see the perfect book.

Bookshelf lovers, drool along with me, please: the Museum of Picture Books in Iwaki-shi, Fukushima-ken, Japan looks stunning. Founder Rei Maki collected children’s picture books and needed a terrifically welcoming environment to house them. She asked Tadao Ando, one of the best kid-friendly architects out there, for help.

Splutter in sheer amazement at the results.

If those kindergartners haven’t been fascinated by books yet, this museum should give a helpful shove in that direction.


Newspaper links come and go, so read this Daily Yomiuri article while you can. A few more heart-flipping photos are here and on Architecture of the Month (scroll waaaaaaaaay down to April 2006).

One Response

  1. […] couple friends have asked if I know anything about that lovely children’s book museum in Iwaki City, Fukushima. Did it survive the […]


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