Photo/Illutration Tarps are set up for reading under at the beach library in Oarai, Ibaraki Prefecture, on Oct. 31. (Naoko Kawamura)

OARAI, Ibaraki Prefecture--Beaches are ideal places to read books while soaking up some sun, and autumn is a great time to cozy up with a warm drink and a good read--so why not combine the two?

The local tourism association has done just that, opening up a fall “beach library” on Oarai Sun Beach.

“The sea can attract many visitors for marine sports, bathing on the beach and many other things,” an association official said. “We hope that people who usually do not come to the sea will also visit our beach.”

Normally the thought “reading on the beach” brings summer to mind, but this beach was closed in the summer due to the coronavirus pandemic.

So the Oarai Tourist Association decided to open the beach library for about three weeks in August. This is the second time that the beach library has opened, after the first event proved highly popular.

There are 60 seats for visitors, placed under tarps and parasols that have been set up about 10 meters apart along the beachfront.

The first floor of the beach center hosts a reception desk and packed bookshelves. The collection boasts about 1,000 books that span a wide range of subjects, including the humanities, social sciences and arts.

The librarians chose works that would “allow visitors to open the doors to new worlds on their journey.”

The fall beach library will continue through Nov. 15. It will be closed in the event of rain or strong winds.

The library is open daily between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. On Nov. 14, it will also be open in the evening from 4:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. After sunset, visitors can read books by the light of lanterns.