Miho Museum 【Shiga Prefecture】

The Subterranean Structure: an integration of man-made form and nature

Far from the crowded cities, the Miho Museum is nestled among the verdant Shigaraki Mountains. The path to the museum angles toward its entrance through a tunnel and over a bridge that spans two mountain ridges. When approaching, you can see tantalizing glimpses of the glass roofs above the pine-filled mountain slope. As with the earthly paradise in the classical Chinese poem, "Peach Blossom Valley", most of the museum building is hidden.

The Interior: an experience of luminous, open space

Once inside, one perceives a dramatic change from that of the museum's exterior. Sunlight softly pours through the louvered glass roofs into a spacious reception area and illuminates the honey-colored limestone walls, giving them a warm glow. The sense of breadth and distance is further extended by panoramic views of the distant mountains that surround the building. "I think you can see a very conscious attempt on my part to make the silhouette of the building comfortable in the natural landscape." As this remark by Dr. Pei suggests, the museum is a magnificent embodiment of two aspects of architecture: a structure standing in nature and at the same time being a part of nature.

* Address: 300, Tashiro Momodani, Shigaraki, Shiga, 529-1814

* Tel.: +81-(0)748-82-3411

* Fax.: +81-(0)748-82-3414

* Access: 13-minute from JR Kyoto Station to the JR Ishiyama Station.

* Parking: 20 buses and 150 cars (free)

* Entrance Fees: Adults: 1,000 yen, High School and College Students: 800 yen, Elementary School and Junior High School Students: 300 yen

* Hours: 10:00 - 17:00 (Admission until 16:00)

* The museum will be closed from December 10, 2012 through March 8, 2013 because of road freezing. Next exhibition will be from March 9 through June 9, 2013.

* Website:


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