World News Tomorrow – Art News.
The Miho Museum stands deep in the forested hill west of central Koka, close to the Shumei Temple and Shiga mountains, can be visited in a side trip from Kyoto. It was commissioned by Mihoko Koyama in the 90’s opened its doors in 1997.
Designed by the renowned architect, I. M. Pei, and is named after Koyama Mihoko, one of the richest women in Japan and the founder of the museum. Three-quarters of the 17,400 square meter design, which is called Shangri-La, is situated underground, carved out of a rocky mountaintop.
Perhaps the most interesting aspect of the museum is the design of its structures and how they are integrated into their natural surroundings. This is highlighted in the museum’s approach which leads through a mixture of man-made and natural environments. The inside of the museum continues this theme by contrasting steel and glass with warm stone and panoramic views of the surrounding valleys.
The museum’s exhibits consist of works from ancient civilizations including the Egyptians, Romans, and various Asian cultures, with the pieces largely coming from Koyama’s private collection. The main exhibit changes every year or so, and special exhibits change every few months.
When looking to visit a special place, a museum and history of one of Japan’s richest women then a tour at Miho Museum is well worth it.