One of the best parts of travelling is discovering hidden gems that add to the experience of your trip. Whenever I travel, I have a habit of trying to find Japanese related activities and I wasn’t disappointed when I went to Budapest. The city has a range of great Japanese restaurants but look a little harder and you may come across a secret Japanese library that’s off the beaten path.
Budapest’s secret Japanese library can be found at the Japan Foundation in the heart of the city. It features a variety of books, which run the gamut from Japanese cooking to Japanese pop culture. People who are interested in the Land of the Rising Sun’s history can also browse a dedicated section that covers feudal Japan all the way up to the modern day.
The library also contains plenty of helpful information on Japanese, making it an ideal place for people who want to brush up on their language or reading skills. With texts in English and Japanese kanji, the library has something that everyone can enjoy.
The majority of the books are free to borrow and those that can’t be lent are available for use in the reading room. In addition to books, there are hundreds of CDs, video tapes and DVDs that can be used on the spot. Joining the library is free and all you’d have to do when signing a book out is to show a valid ID card, student card or passport.
Celebrating the spirit of Japan in Budapest
The Budapest arm of the Japan Foundation is an elegant venue that features the library, study rooms, computers, art tables and a board for Japan-related events. Founded in 1972 to promote cultural co-operation between Japan and other countries, the Japan Foundation has gone from strength to strength.
The Budapest office was founded in 1991 to strengthen the relationship between Japan and Hungary. It hosts a plethora of activities that are run independently from the official programmes of the Tokyo headquarters. Events include Japanese language courses, lectures, cinematic events, travelling exhibitions and cultural exhibits.
The House of Terror is the nearest tourist spot to the Japan Foundation and can be reached after a 5 – 10-minute walk. The Foundation is located inside an office building and can be found on the second floor.
The Japan Foundation truly is a hidden gem and should be visited if you’re planning a trip to Budapest. For more information on the events and courses that are offered in Budapest, be sure to check out the website.
Address: Budapest, Aradi u. 8, 1062.
Monday – 9AM – 6PM
Tuesday – 9AM – 6PM
Wednesday – 9AM – 6PM
Thursday – 9AM – 6PM
Friday – 9AM – 6PM
Saturday – Closed
Sunday – Closed