Like bookmobiles? Try Japan's bullet train library

This decommissioned 0 series bullet train is the perfect place to hang out if you're a kid. Too bad it no longer travels at 130 mph.

Take that, Reading Rainbow! The bullet train library in Akishima, Japan.
Take that, Reading Rainbow! The bullet train library in Akishima, Japan. Akishima Library

If you're a kid growing up in Japan, chances are you dig comic books and trains. In the western Tokyo city of Akishima, you can indulge in both by reading manga in a vintage bullet train that's now a kids' library.

The converted 0 series Shinkansen has been drawing kids to the Akishima Library since 1992. Little tykes can kick back on the carriage's 25 seats and read from a collection of some 10,000 books.

As seen in the video below, kids can also play engineer in the train driver's compartment. The library is popular with adults too, because the legendary blue-white 0 series was Japan's first Shinkansen bullet train.

With an initial top speed of 130 mph, the 0 series debuted in 1964 on the Tokyo-Osaka line prior to the Tokyo Olympic Games and was retired in 2008 (the modern N700 series has a top speed of 186 mph). The bullet train and the Olympics marked Japan's reemergence as a technological and international power following World War II, so the library is a real piece of Japanese history.

(Via Japan Probe)


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