Kadokawa Musashino Museum – The Rock Floating On Water

by | Aug 17, 2020 | Arts, Design, Featured, Photography | 0 comments

NOT MUCH of interest happens in Tokorozawa these days. Back in the economic heydays of the 1980’s, the city decided to become a bedroom community for Tokyo commuters and plowed over many areas of historical interest for the sake of building high-rise condominiums. Today, Tokorozawa is more of a nuisance to me than anything else, a difficult to navigate maze of congested streets standing between my house and Costco.

Finally, however, Tokorozawa got something right. The Kadokawa Musashino Museum had a soft opening on August 1st, 2020 and by the looks of things, it’s going to be quite the destination for Saitama and Tokyo residents alike.

kadokawa musashino museum at sunset

The building was designed by superstar architect Kengo Kuma, also responsible for the more down-to-earth redesign of the new National Stadium that may or may not make the world stage during the Olympics next summer. Kuma is known for his work using natural materials, especially wood, so this granite covered behemoth of a building is a bit of a curveball in his formidable arsenal.

The design was said to represent a rock floating on water, as it can be viewed from a large reflecting pond at the east end of the building. If you are a fan of Star Trek, you might fear that the Borg have landed, as one of my friends noted. Whether you love or don’t love the design of the building, one thing that can easily be agreed upon is that this building is enormous. Given the weight of the granite slabs covering the building, one wonders how it doesn’t fall through the earth to China…er, Europe.

kengo kuma's kadokawa musashino museum
kadokawa museum in tokorozawa

Lynda Hogan at InSaitama has a nicely written review of the site known as Tokorozawa Sakura Town, which includes the museum, connected structures and a brand new teamLabs Acorn Forest exhibit in the park across the street. When completed later this year, the building will function as a museum, library and art gallery.

Much of the excitement is bubbling over the Bookshelf Theater, an 8-meter high browsable bookshelf with the capacity for 50,000 books. Because the building’s owner, Kadokawa, is a publishing company that built its fortunes largely on manga 漫画 (Japanese comics), manga will be a running theme in exhibits and design.

When the Japan summer weather is a bit less sweltering, I’ll spend some time exploring the site more closely, as it is reachable from my home by bicycle.

Like what you're seeing?

Let’s talk about how I can help your business in creating custom content promoting your products and services!

Workation – The Key to the Recovery of Japanese Tourism

What is workation in Japan and how will it help the Japanese tourism economy recover from the devastating effects of COVID-19 on foreign tourism to Japan?

Driving at the End of the World

This is the Iya Valley of Tokushima Prefecture, sitting at the edge of the world, sometimes just beyond it.

On Becoming a Tokyo – Kyoto Commuter

As I have been in negotiations for a full-time position at a company I have been freelancing for, I have been "practicing" to be a...

How To Fail At Workation

The time I tried to do “workation” in Nagano in Japan and failed miserably. But perhaps it wasn’t misery I found, but a chance to truly relax.

The Green Mile – A Long Road of Practicing Tea Ceremony

What the world’s worst tea ceremony student has learned through practicing tea in Japan, and it isn’t about tea at all.

Papa’s Got a Brand New (Canvas) Bag

Tracking down the Japanese company that made my favorite canvas briefcase bag was not easy, but the satisfaction of a owning a new bag was worth the effort.

Blooming Alone In Tokyo

Why risk gathering in crowds to enjoy cherry blossoms in Japan? It seems every neighborhood has a hidden gem of a place waiting to be discovered where one can enjoy Spring sakura.

A Time To Grow

I’ve wished my life wouldn’t pass me by so quickly, that I would have time for myself. And now that my wish in some twisted way has come true, why am I not doing the things that I always said I would?

Desperately Seeking Shoyu In Saitama

Let Chiba have their giants of mass-produced soy sauce. I’ll head west to Kawagoe, where three craft shoyu makers are still creating cedar barrel-aged masterpieces of sweet umami flavor.

The Insanity of 21st Century Japanese Katana Swordmaking

Though the clients have changed, the masters behind the craft remain the same: madmen obsessed with the quality of their blades.

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This