The knowledge and craftsmanship of the past
brought together within a wooden coliseum

Akita International University - Nakajima Library

Akita International University – Nakajima Library

The Nakajima Library at Akita International University is regarded as one of the most beautiful libraries in Japan. A short distance from Akita Airport, the library lies deep in the mountains, far removed from the city center. The library was built in the image of a “coliseum of books,” its amphitheater structure designed to inspire students to tackle their studies like the Gladiators of old. This design concept was the brainchild of famed architect Mitsuru Senda.

Built with local Akita cedar wood unfolding across the ceiling like a parasol, the Nakajima Library embodies the nature and tradition of Akita Prefecture. The rich cedar complements the building’s intricate architecture, immersing visitors in an atmosphere of quiet and calm. With its distinctive ambience, the library is frequented by both college students and the intellectually curious.

The Nakajima Library is home to a wealth of English books, with non-Japanese texts comprising 60% of the collection. Thanks to the library’s vast international collection, it is designated as a United Nations Depository Library—one among only 14 libraries in Japan. The library also hosts a collection of English picture books for young visitors to enjoy.

The Nakajima Library is open to the public during the day, and available to students 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Photo: Coustesy of Akita International University

Akita International University – Nakajima Library
Yuwa, Akita City, Akita, Prefecture 010-1292
+81 18 886 5907
Open hours:
9:00 – 22:00 on weekdays
9:45 – 18:00 on weekends and school holidays
About 10 minutes by car from Akita Airport
Award-winning beautiful libraries in Japan such as Good Design Awards and International Architecture Awards. Akita Cedar, Akita’s design that made full use of traditional technology is also spectacular as a building.