- Kindai Picks編集部
The Academic Theatre has garnered a lot of attention with a manga library, 24 hour study room, CNN Café and more.But what does a person from overseas think?
Clare from As One Language takes a trip to the Academic Theatre.
Hi there! This is Clare here, an American girl who does translation and copywriting at As One Language. I’ve been living in Japan going on 8 years now and am currently having fun with life in Osaka. Today I enjoyed a rainy day tour of Kindai University’s new facility, the sleek and modern Academic Theatre! A brand new building that opened just this past April (2017).
The walls are basically all glass and compared to the usual college campus buildings there is a lot of natural light! I especially like the small green spaces between the corridors which I thought were really refreshing.
The building is a bit of a maze, but even if you do get a little lost, you may discover something that you didn’t know was there!
The books are arranged in such an attractive way that I almost don’t want to disturb them! A very different scenery from a school library.
There are also tall chalkboards affixed to the wall at the end of these shelves, covered in an array of illustrations and messages drawn by students. Anyone is invited to write or draw here, so feel free to leave your mark!
Not just books, but manga too!
Walking up to the second floor the shelves are filled with manga.
There are other publications like books and novels displayed next to some manga series that relate to the genre or story content. So if you like manga like Nodame Cantabile, dive deeper into the story by reading up on classical music!
This second floor boasts about 22,000 volumes of manga which is divided by theme. There are fun displays to denote what theme is where. If you love manga this is a great way to study Japanese! There is definitely something here for everyone, so pick a story and get started. I spotted quite a few students lounging on pillows set up in these sections, reading and relaxing.
What do students think? ＃1
After checking out the large selection of Japanese manga I headed to where I heard there were English language manga and DVDs available. That is where I met Cortney, a student from the United States currently studying sociology and psychology at Kindai University.
Cortney comes here every day to study or review after her classes. She also told me all about the women’s only self-study room that is open 24 hours; she gets a lot of use out of it.
The International Studies Area
I found the English language manga in the International Studies Area where there are computers to watch the available DVDs. Looking through the shelves I found an old favorite of mine, grabbed a volume and headed to the spiral staircase in the middle of the room.
The International Lounge
The stairs lead up to the International Lounge, a study area specifically for the use of foreign students.
Looking out the windows here you can see over the top of the Academic Theatre and get a good sense of the maze like twists and turns of the building.
There are a lot of students studying together at tables with colorful chairs or resting on some of the more comfortable spaces. On the walls there is information concerning Japanese language tests and study sessions.
English language copies of The Japan Times are available for students to keep up on Japanese news in their native language. This was a much calmer and intimate space, great for concentration.
Women’s Only Self-Study Room
Cortney says she often uses the women’s only self-study room which is available 24 hours.
One must reserve a seat ahead of time and can only gain access with an IC card giving female students a sense of security. Having a safe space to study is huge.
How about a cup of coffee?
With all these study areas available there’s one thing that all college students need and that’s caffeine!
Two cafes can be found in the Academic Theatre.
Leaving the third floor International Lounge, I headed down to the CNN Café on the second floor. I’ve never seen a CNN Café before, so this was pretty cool.
There are multiple screens around the entrance featuring English language CNN news. Many students chatted away or looked over school work at the tables nearest the entrance. A news ticker runs above the counter displaying current headlines.
Near the counter are small tables for standing and from there you can see more table seating in the back, making this café deceptively big. Here Japanese students can relax in an English environment and English native speakers can enjoy some familiarity while catching up on current events. There is some cute CNN merchandise available for sale here too.
My next caffeine stop was on the first floor at the All Day Coffee café.
Pots of coffee are available for purchase, which is great for a study group, student meetings, or maybe just a hangout session with friends. This very modern café is closer to a building entrance where students can easily come and go. There were many people hanging out here between classes or taking a break from studying.
The atmosphere is a little livelier with the in and out hustle and bustle, so I would definitely peg this as more of a hangout or meet up spot. This café also sells merchandise in keeping with the minimal modern design of the shop itself.
What do students think?＃2
Near the end of my tour I spoke to another foreign student from China, Shin, who complemented the teachers and professors at Kindai.
According to him, no matter your Japanese level they really help you and spend extra time to make sure you understand what you need. So not only is the Campus beautiful and inviting, but the teachers are welcoming as well. Definitely reassuring words for students from foreign countries.
The Academic Theatre
The Academic Theatre is pretty cool and has a much more relaxed atmosphere than the usual stuffy buildings found on college campuses. Everyone’s faces are relaxed and I did see quite a few people sleeping on the more comfortable couches and sofas scattered throughout the building. All the natural light definitely lends a calm energy.
The Academic Theatre has a lot of study space, an extensive library, a big selection of Japanese and English language manga, and two great coffee places. No wonder there are people who spend time here every day. If you’re passing through Kindai University’s Higashi Osaka campus, take a look! Perhaps read some manga and grab some coffee.
That is if you can make it through the maze of hallways!