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More than Specialized Books! Featuring Maniac Libraries in Minato Ward, Tokyo

Minato Ward, Tokyo, is home to many spots that will stimulate your intellectually inquisitive mind, such as the Minato Science Museum, where you can enjoy learning about science through a planetarium and hands-on exhibits, and the TEPIA Advanced Technology Museum, which introduces advanced technologies that are expected to be put into practical use in society in the near future. Another characteristic of this area is its many libraries, including the Tokyo Metropolitan Central Library. In this article, we feature specialized libraries that specialize in a particular genre. We will pick up three "maniac" libraries that offer more than reading books!

[Shimbashi] Aviation Library - Reading as if you're in flight!

Minato Ward is connected to Haneda Airport by monorail and is home to many offices of major airlines, making it a city with deep ties to the airline industry. Minato Ward is home to Japan's only library dedicated to the aviation industry.

The museum is a five-minute walk from the Hibiya Exit of JR Shimbashi Station. The "Aviation Library," located on the 6th floor of the Aviation Hall, is operated by the Japan Aeronautic Association, which promotes aviation and space. Inheriting its history from the "Aviation Book Collection" established in Taisho 8 (1919) by the predecessor, the Imperial Aviation Association, the library holds approximately 50,000 books and magazines on airplanes and the aviation industry, making it a popular spot for aviation fans.

Walking along the runway-colored carpet as you enter, there is a wall full of the latest issues of aviation-related magazines and statistical documents on the right side. Not only are there well-known magazines that can be found in bookstores, but documents published by IATA (International Air Transport Association) and academic journals that are not available to the general public. In addition, all the in-flight magazines of domestic airlines are also available, and it would take a lot of time just to check around.

On the bookshelves, visitors can browse through recommended books on the latest topics selected by staff members knowledgeable about the aviation industry, as well as valuable specialized books in categories such as aeronautical engineering, piloting techniques, aviation policy, and airports. The space is compact but dense, with many materials in the space industry, which will be of increasing interest in the future. Be sure to check out the frequently changing section on the latest books!

In one corner of the museum, there is an economy-class seat that was actually used on an ANA passenger plane. The seat is real all the way down to the carpet. Of course, you can sit here and read documents, and if you read an in-flight magazine while sitting on this seat, you might be able to experience the feeling of air travel while you are in Shimbashi!

"Aviation Shrine" is located on the top floor of the same building. The shrine, which is also the headquarters of the Haneda Aviation Shrine in the Haneda Airport Terminal 1 Building, has been a place of prayer for aviation safety for more than 90 years, before the birth of passenger aircraft. The "Aviation Shrine Good Luck Charm" (500 yen), which includes prayers for air safety, travel safety, and traffic safety, is popular as an item for those wishing to enter the airline industry. The charm embroidered with the word "aviation" is a good-luck charm that is sure to give you a "leap" in life.

Aviation Library
Location: Aviation Hall 6F, 1-18-1 Shimbashi, Minato Ward, Tokyo
Telephone number: 03-3502-1205
Hours: 10AM-5PM
Closed: Saturdays, Sundays, national holidays, year-end and New Year's holidays, and special closing periods

[Takanawa] "Food Culture Library": The longer you stay, the hungrier (!?) you will get

About a 4-minute walk from Takanawadai Station on the Toei Subway Asakusa Line is the "Food Culture Library." It can also be accessed by a 15-minute walk up Zakurozaka from the Takanawa exit of JR Shinagawa Station. This is a library specializing in food operated by the Ajinomoto Food Culture Center.

The library holds approximately 45,000 books and magazines on food culture. As soon as you enter the library, you will see past issues of "vesta," a quarterly magazine published by the Ajinomoto Food Culture Center, so we recommend that you check them out first.

The freely accessible bookshelves are divided into categories such as food culture in general, food ingredients, food products, cooking/recipes, dietary habits, food service industry and food manufacturing, food and health, and food economics, covering everything from knowledge familiar to the household to specialized knowledge needed by people related to the food industry and researchers. For example, in the "Cooking/Recipes" category, there are subcategories in the medium category of "Confectionery/Desserts," such as "Cheesecakes" and "Macarons," making it easy to find the book you are looking for.

Meanwhile, the "Staff's Recommended Books" section on each shelf introduces books on the latest topics and themes from an expert's viewpoint. Anyone with an interest in food will surely find an interesting book.

Visitors can also browse through rare books on food, such as cookbooks from the Edo period and books from the Meiji period to prewar times. In another corner, there is a foreign-language section with books mainly on Japanese food, so you can learn about Japanese food from a foreign perspective. To borrow books and browse rare books, you need to register for a library card (a 100 yen registration fee and proof of current address and name are required).

The "Food Culture Exhibition Room" on the second floor of the Food Culture Library introduces Japan's food culture, which has been nurtured with the four seasons since ancient times, through 'Ryori Monogatari,' Japan's oldest recipe book, and 'Tofu Hyakuchin,' a collection of 100 tofu dishes, as well as food samples reproducing old dishes. On the same floor, the "Small Museum of Food and Life" (operated by Ajinomoto Co., Ltd.) offers an exhibition where visitors can learn about the changes in food culture since the Meiji Era and the history of The Ajinomoto Group while viewing a space that reproduces dining scenes from each era.

You will definitely spend some time just looking at the exhibits, so if you are planning to visit somewhere else, make sure you leave plenty of time.

Food Culture Library
Location: Ajinomoto Group Takanawa Training Center, 3-13-65 Takanawa, Minato Ward, Tokyo
Hours: 10AM-17PM
Closed: Sundays, National Holidays, Year-end and New Year holidays, Library closing period, Temporary closing days

[Shiodome] "Ad Museum Tokyo Library": Experience the best advertisements from around the world.

"Ad Museum Tokyo" is located in Caretta Shiodome, a commercial complex with Shimbashi or Shiodome stations as its nearest stations.
The museum, the only advertising museum in the world, has a library with approximately 30,000 items in its collection.

The library is located one floor above the exhibition space. The stylish and open space is impressive, as it is the only spot related to the history of advertising. On the main bookshelves are collections of award-winning works from domestic and international advertising awards, specialized books such as the "Copy Yearbooks" of past generations, and corporate histories of companies. There is also a section related to the current exhibition.

The shelves along the walls, organized by categories such as "Advertising Laws and Regulations," "Advertising Expressions," "Commercials," and "Public Relations," also contain interesting knowledge that will help creators improve their skills. In addition, visitors can view newspaper advertisements, magazine advertisements, and TV commercials from over 300,000 advertising materials in the Ad Museum Tokyo's database on a device located in the reading area. Not only can visitors see historically famous advertisements, but they can also revisit advertisements and commercials that are "nostalgic" for people of all generations.

After learning about the history of advertising in the exhibition space where you can see Edo period nishikie and retro posters, deepening your knowledge in the library will surely change your perspective on the advertisements you are usually familiar with. And the space where visitors can come into contact with excellent copy and design from Japan and around the world will stimulate the imagination of those involved in creative activities, and inspire even those who are not involved in creative activities to create something of their own.

Advance reservations are required for admission. For more information, please check the official website from the link below.

Ad Museum Tokyo
Location: Caretta Shiodome B2F, 1-8-2 Higashi-Shinbashi, Minato Ward, Tokyo
Hours: 12PM-6PM
Closed: Sundays, Mondays, year-end and New Year's holidays, and occasional holidays

A library is a place where you can encounter a book that will expand your world. Other libraries in Minato Ward, Tokyo, specialize in various fields, such as the "Travel Library" in Minami Aoyama and the "Meteorological Agency Library" in Toranomon. All of these spots have staff members who are knowledgeable in their respective fields, so it is a good idea to consult them if there is a book you want to find or something you are interested in. With the cold weather still to come, try incorporating a specialized library where you can spend time indoors into your sightseeing course.

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