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Miho Museum: Art and Nature as One

Posted on March 2, 2021

Looking for a quiet interlude from the bustling city? Miho Museum is the perfect place to immerse yourself in nature and appreciate art and architecture. Built in 1997, the museum was designed by the renowned architect of The Louvre in Paris, I.M. Pei. The strong lines of steel and abundant glass contrast with the lush palette of the forest. The dynamic partnership of the manmade and natural results in a beauty which feels modern and ancient all at once. Though the museum is currently closed, it will reopen just in time for Sakura season on March 12 2021.

Miho Museum entrance

Photo By @ sharanovero

Though the museum is not day-trip distance from Tokyo, it is about an hour from Kyoto by car. Public transportation takes a bit longer at just under two hours, but the trip will give you time to unwind and leave your stress behind before you arrive.

Miho Museum lookout

Photo By @ mi__625y

The museum creates a frame for the natural beauty and diverse ecosystem that lie in the mountains of Koka in Shiga Prefecture. 

Miho Museum entrance

Photos By @ icat0721

The entrance invites you to peer through a new lens, from outside in or inside out, nature is everywhere. 

Miho Museum interior

While the museum has a humble way of illuminating all that lies around it, if you sit for a moment and take in a corner as the afternoon sun melts like butter on the limestone, you might see the effortlessly smooth vision of I.M. Pei unfolding before you.

Girl observing museum interior

Photos By @ miiiiku_t

The museum is named after Mihoko Koyama, one of the wealthiest women in Japan. The museum houses Koyama’s personal collections of over two thousand antiques from around the world. 

View from tunnel of suspension bridge and entrance

One of the most insta-worthy spots of your trip to Miho may be the breathtaking tunnel leading up to the entrance. 

tunnel interior

Photos By @ mi__625y

Though most tunnels are lined with concrete, I.M. Pei used panels of metal positioned at such an angle that the natural light at the beginning of the tunnel traverses throughout. The tunnel changes as the seasons do, turning red with the maple leaves or pink with sakura blossoms. Pei even placed small holes in the side panels to break up sound waves and prevent echoing. Walking through the tunnel might feel serene and calm. 

tunnel light sconce

Photos By @ miiiiku_t

There are so many fun opportunities for photos at every turn!

tunnel interior and couple

Photo By @ camera_68

You may even find yourself blending into the undergrowth completely for a moment before you go on your way. 

window reflection in museum

Photo By @ yuri_110

Access: 桃谷-300 Shigarakicho Tashiro, Koka, Shiga 529-1814

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