Japan Cultural Institute in Rome

japan institute of rome

Discover the culture of the Rising Sun through the broadest movies and book collections existing in Italy.

The Japanese Cultural Institute was officially inaugurated in 1962, becoming the first of its kind abroad. Managed by the Japan Foundation (Kokusai Kôryû Kikin), the institute aims to distribute and showcase Japanese culture in Italy. The building itself represents traditional Japanese architecture and is made to look like the house of an aristocratic family from the Heian period.

The architect of the building, Yoshida Isoya, highlighted building materials like wood, cloth wall coverings, gold surfaces, curtains and Japanese paper sliding doors to retain the desired style.


Garden Designing as a distinctive Japanese form of Art

Leaving the porch – or tsuridono – leads into a beautiful traditional garden with one of the few Japanese cherry trees in Rome. The garden presents all the typical elements representing the iconic Japanese aesthetic: wide rocks, plants, and a water pond. Each of them is designed to transmit a peaceful feeling of order, simplicity, and consistency.

The park surrounding the Institute is the first of its kind designed in Italy by a Japanese landscape architect, Ken Nakajima.  We can appreciate another example of a Japanese garden visiting the Rome Botanical Gardens in Trastevere. The Japanese section was in fact conceived by the same architect.

Although the Institute’s outdoor space is currently under renovation, free tours of the garden are usually available in the spring and fall by phone request (T. 06.9484.4655) and usually last 30 minutes.

Japanese language classes and unique film festivals

The institute offers a wide range of unique programs including weekly language classes, culture classes, concerts, and exhibitions.

Japanese film screenings (with Italian subtitles) and free cultural activities are frequently organized. Attracting a varied audience interested to learn more about Japanese society, new trends and current affairs.

Every year, the Institute also presents a rich and unique programs including photographic exhibitions, traditional and contemporary music performances, and theatre shows celebrating Japan’s artistic heritage.


An endless choice of Japanese readings, from manga and novels to contemporary essays

With more 36.000 books related to Japan in the humanities and social sciences written in Japanese, English, Italian and French, the Institute gathers the widest collection available in Italy.

In the library, visitors can explore Japanese culture through novels, history books, literary works and about 100 magazines. It is also possible to access a vast number of e-books, academic dissertations, more than one hundred CDs, documentaries and movies. Moreover, at the library, students or scholars are free to browse online several databases: the Bibliography of Asian Studies, Japan Web and the digital newspaper “Asahi Shimbun”.

To make use of this service, please do book your slot emailing the Institute at  biblioteca@jfroma.org with the date and time of your visit.

Via Antonio Gramsci, 74

Gallery hours:
Mon-Fri 9am-12:30pm / 1.30pm-5pm

Library Hours:
Mon-Fri 2pm-5pm

Closed on the last working day of each month, Italian holidays, August and year end.


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