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Town Initiatives

The Whole Town Is The Library! Book Sightseeing Using the “Yoshino Town-wide Library”

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Yoshino is a town without a standard library.

So instead of building a new library, a project was created with the goal of making the town a “library” through the sharing of books owned by residents.

“Make a library in a town without a library!” The reason for the creation of the town-wide library

There is no library in the town of Yoshino.

Residents can borrow books at the public hall, but the number of books there is limited so many residents go to the library in a neighboring town to find the book they want. It takes about 30 minutes by car to get there.

Personally, I order books that I want to read or need for work from the Prefectural Information Library.

I have two daughters, and I feel that the lack of an easy access to books is a big disadvantage for children.

On the other hand, since Yoshino is a town with a long history, there are a lot of valuable materials left around here. There are also libraries that are run by local residents and other groups, so Yoshino Town can be said to be a land that is associated with books.

I thought that by creating a “library” (regardless of whether or not it is publicly or privately run) which shares books and places in Yoshino Town, that not only books will become familiar, but also people will have the chance to interact with each other as well.

Efforts have already started, and in 2019, we worked hard to find collaborators and places where libraries could open. After some twists and turns, we are currently working with 15 small library operators.

By realizing this effort, residents no longer have to go to the neighboring town for books.

I’m very excited to be able to find books in Yoshino Town.

Please see below for a list of “small libraries” that are already running!

https://librize.com/yoshino-libraries

 

“small libraries”are all unique!

These existing libraries are all unique! We would like to increase the number of distinctive libraries by respecting the original place and the wishes of the operators.

You can find all types of books that cover various topics including the history of Yoshino, plant information (such as cherry blossoms and ferns), travel, cooking, mountain walking, sports, lifestyle, and so on. Rather than having everything in one library, we aim to have interesting books all over the town.

I think that individuality and themes attract people, and that the people who show up to these libraries will interact with each other in turn. We hope that each library will become a destination for travelers from outside Yoshino town and that these locations become spots that residents and travelers will want to visit, interact with, and visit again.

It’s good to spend time reading a book while travelling.

Fumie Katayama, the landlady of Guesthouse KAM INN who runs one of the libraries, says that she is “glad to talk about the books with travelers and get excited.”

ゲストハウスKAMINN

▲Guest house KAM INN (2352 Yoshinoyama, Yoshino-cho, Yoshino-gun, Nara)

The hot spring facility is also registered as a library.

Read books, take a dip in the hot spring, and eat.

You can relax and stay here all day long.

中荘温泉

▲Nakasho Onsen (583 Narai, Yoshino-cho, Yoshino-gun, Nara)

There is also a library in a temple!

You can read the priest’s recommended books while listening to his story.

This temple is located on a hill, so it is a good idea to enjoy your time while viewing the scenery.

大師山寺

▲Daishisan-ji Temple (2103 Kamiichi, Yoshino-cho, Yoshino-gun, Nara)

“Shida no Sumika” is a library specializing in ferns and plants.

The owner is a person who loves ferns and is running a private botanical garden.

How unique and wonderful!

She also irregularly gives walking tours around the mountain.

After studying plants, participants can actually enjoy the nature of Yoshino.

The books go well with coffee.

Some cafes and coffee shops are also registered as libraries.

In a space surrounded by Yoshino cedar, why not read a book while having a cup of coffee?

カフェ・ルルポ

▲Café Rurupo (1337 Iigai, Yoshino-cho, Yoshino-gun, Nara)

These are just some of the libraries that are currently active and the number of unique libraries will also  increase in the future.

In an era in which people collect information on the Internet and through SNS, there are still many books that can only be read if you come to Yoshino.

A book you find may have information about Yoshino that you never knew about before.

If you visit a location and learn something new about it, the enjoyment of your trip will increase.  When you visit Yoshino, why not enjoy a trip around the Yoshino Town-wide Library?

Some libraries require that you contact them in advance before visiting and that you can only browse the books.

Before you visit, I recommend checking the information on our website or etc.

Finally, I think that through the “Town-wide Library,” people from different districts will be able to gather and interact with each other to create relationships and connections of mutual benefit.

Yoshino is facing challenges associated with population decline. However, we will do our utmost to make our precious town Yoshino sustainable and to solve problems through cooperation.

 

Yacchan

Yacchan

I was born in Yoshino and still live here. Yoshino is a reasonable distance from Osaka and Kyoto. I recommend using the new “TENJIKU” tourism system in Yoshino, even if it's just for a day trip.

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