Asaka City Library has a really good selection of English books and magazines, better than most of the libraries I am member of. As it is not a public library and only a municipal library I am not able to borrow from there. It doesn’t stop me from visiting it a couple of times a year and reading books in English that I can’t get anywhere else nearer home.
Saitama has only two public libraries in the whole prefecture. One is in Kumagaya and the other in Kazo. The vast majority of libraries in Saitama are municipally run. This means that you have to live in the city / town , or be from a city that has a mutual lending relationship with that city / town, to become a member and borrow books from that library. Link to information on how to join a library (external site). But anyone is entitled to enter the library and read the books there on site for free. And this is what I do!
The library is not the most aesthetic in the world, but what it does have is a nice carpeted flat reading area in the middle of the main selection on the ground floor. You can comfortably sit, or lie as many do, on the carpet and read books and magazines.
I am a member of several libraries within the “rainbow cities”. Some of them can match the number of foreign books and magazines for adults that Asaka has, but they are much more outdated than the selection in Asaka. I am particularly thinking of Kawagoe central library, which does have a large selection of English language novels, but the most recent was written in the 1980s! The kids selection in Kawagoe is very good though, but it is in Asaka City Library too. They have a pretty good selection of English books for kids. There are some small seats for them to use. And thankfully the library has good air conditioning.
I like libraries by default for the great service they offer. But there are only a couple of other libraries that I can praise as high as this one. Konosu is one of my favourites. I also am not entitled to join but visit occasionally as I love that it has a coffee shop IN the library. A genius, yet unpractised idea. The seats in the library have armrests with cup holders so you can comfortably drink and read. Konosu is also a nice library for kids, but Kitamoto Children’s Library is my favourite library for the kids.
Every year the Asaka City Library have a two day library festival around the end of June. The library festival is on from 10 am to 5 pm on Saturday and until 5.35 pm on Sunday. Each day they have several events on. Events include story time and puppet shows for kids. Several stories will be read aloud including some foreign language books on Saturday morning from 10.30 am. During the two days there is a little shop too, run by volunteers.
Asaka City Library Information
Asaka City Library is located opposite the Asaka City Gymnasium in Asaka which is beside Asaka Central Park. The playground of the park is at the side of the gymnasium, just a minutes walk from the library if you cut through the gym’s car park.
Hours: from 9.30 am seven days a week. It closes at 7 pm on weekdays and at 6 pm on weekends.
Address: 1 Chome-7-26 Aobadai, Asaka-shi, Saitama-ken 351-0016