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RIKEN Library

History of RIKEN Library

The RIKEN Library first opened in 1921, when the No.1 Building (Chemistry Building) was constructed in the Komagome area of Tokyo's Bunkyo ward. The first library was just a room with approximately twenty square meters on the first floor. The present two-story Library on the Wako campus, with a total floor area of 1,855 square meters, was completed in November 1972, and started operations in March 1973.


The first floor of the present library contains journals published since 1996, as well as reference books and handbooks. Recently-published journals are in the racks of the Reading Room. Other books, handbooks and back issues of journals published in 1995 and before (in Japanese and foreign languages) are stored in movable shelves in the basement. The number of journals and books in stock as of September 30, 2018 is given below.

Foreign journals: About 5,500 titles
Japanese journals: About 1,000 titles
Handbooks and Books: 42,048 publications

The library also holds rare books (approximately 150), such as the following.
Euclidis Elementorum libri XV. Graece et Latine (Euclidean Geometry) by Euclid, Coloniae (1564)
Optics by Newton. I., London (1706)

Who Can Use the Library

  • RIKEN retirees
  • Guests introduced by a RIKEN employee
  • RIKEN investors or donors

Other individuals are asked to bring a letter from a public or university library requesting the use of the RIKEN Library.


Weekdays 10:00-17:00 (open during lunch time)
Note that the library is closed on weekends, holidays, RIKEN foundation day (Fourth Monday, October) and New Year's holiday

Please note

  • No food or drink in the library.
  • Do not take your belonging inside. Please use the coin-operated lockers in front of the entrance. To use the lockers, insert a 100-yen coin. The coin will be returned after use.
  • Please make sure that all necessary payments are completed during the operating hours (10:00-17:00) and leave before closing.


  • If you wish to photocopy books in the library, you are recommended to confirm whether the book that you need to copy is available in advance as it may be on loan or under maintenance.
  • Photocopying fee
    Black and white copy: 30 yen per page; color copy 100 yen per page
    Please receive a slip for the use of photocopy machine at the reception desk. You must correctly report the number of copies including miscopied ones and pay for them before you leave the library. Please pay exact amount if possible.

Use of the library and borrowing:

  • You may take out books from the racks and read them freely in the library. After reading them, please return them to their original location.
  • Library materials are not available for loan.


RIKEN Library
Email: library [at] riken.jp