MIHO MUSEUM: I. M. Pei’s Architectural Masterpiece
MIHO MUSEUM in Shiga Prefecture: The Picturesque Museum near Kyoto
Founded in 1997, MIHO Museum (ミホ ミュージアム) is located in the mountainous area outskirts of Shigaraki Town in Shiga Prefecture, southeast of Kyoto. The exhibition of the museum is a private art collection of Mihiko Koyama, one of the wealthiest women in Japan, consisting of about 3,000 pieces of artworks and 250-300 of them are on display. The collection includes Japanese art, paintings, ceramics and laquerware that have been collected by the owner from all over the world over 40 years. The museum also houses 6 designated Important Cultural Properties.
The museum was designed by one of the most renowned architects in the world, I. M. Pei, who has designed the pyramid of Louvre Museum in Paris. The design of the whole museum is completed under the concept of “Shangri-La”. As well as the collection, the architecture of the museum seems to be highly praised and appreciated as a part of art work. In 2018, MIHO MUSEUM was used as a venue for Louis Vuitton’s fashion show.
There are a tunnel and suspension bridge before reaching the main building of the exhibit. The tunnel displays picturesque scenery through the hole in each season such as cherry blossoms which tint the tunnel path with pastel pink (mid April). Approximately three-quarters of the 17,400 square meter building is situated underground, carved out of a rocky mountaintop. This is not to ruin the beautiful natural landscape surrounded, and the museum displays the stunning collaboration of art and nature in each season.
MIHO MUSEUM is a great side trip destination from Kyoto as the nearest train station (Ishiyama Station) can be accessed within 15 mins from Kyoto Station by JR Tokaido Sanyo Line.
Access: 50 mins by Teisan Bus bound for Miho Museum from JR Ishiyama station
Hours: 10:00 to 17:00 (last admission is 16:00)
Closed: Monday or next business day if Monday is a national holiday (The museum is closed between exhibitions in spring, summer and autumn so check the schedule before planning your visit.)
Admission: 1,300 yen
For more information about hidden spots in/around Shiga Prefecture, here are some more articles for you to check out!