A surreal cherry blossom experience at the Miho Museum in Shiga Prefecture!

Do you know the Miho Museum, which is famous as a cherry blossom viewing spot with a spectacular view? Let’s go appreciate beautiful Japanese cherry blossoms at a place where it feels like you are in a modern-day Shangri-la.

When talking about the charms of the Miho Museum, famous as an amazing cherry blossom viewing spot, we can’t proceed without mentioning the beauty of its appearance as designed by a world-renowned architect. It was designed by I. M. Pei, who designed works such as the glass pyramid of the Louvre Museum in Paris. Inspired by the utopia depicted in The Peach Blossom Spring, a classical Chinese fable written by Tao Yuanming, Pei gave shape to his idea of a route—from a path surrounded by cherry trees to a tunnel, a bridge, and on to an approach that leads to the museum.

Visitors of the Miho Museum go through a tunnel to get to the museum. The beautifully-curved tunnel with silver walls appears in different colors depending on the season, reflecting cherry blossoms during spring and autumn leaves during autumn, for example. Since the walls are specially processed for sound deadening, the silence in the tunnel feels otherworldly. Walking through it will definitely be a fantastical experience that makes you feel that it really does lead to a utopia.

After passing through the tunnel, which is tinged with cherry blossoms in spring, you will reach the museum.

You can enjoy the fresh green scenery in summer.

Autumn is the season of autumn leaves. Visitors can enjoy the changing expressions of the four seasons.

As you get past the tunnel, you will see the museum entrance across a bridge that extends over a valley. Once you step inside the museum, you will be welcomed by a breathtaking view of tranquil mountains and by the expansive space with natural light streaming down.

The scenery is rich in nature.

Entrance Hall with beautiful architecture and views.

Mihoko Koyama, the founder of the Miho Museum, gathered about 3,000 pieces of ancient art, including a wide variety of Japanese art as well as ones from countries along the Silk Road such as Egypt, Greece, Rome, China, West Asian countries, and South Asian countries. From the collection, the museum normally displays about 250 to 500 items. It also holds special seasonal exhibitions during spring, summer, and autumn while it is open.

The Exhibition Hall displays many works of art from ancient civilizations around the world.

The Miho Museum is located in the lush mountains of Shiga Prefecture, a prefecture adjacent to Kyoto, so you need to take trains and buses from Kansai International Airport to get there. It is currently closed during winter, and the next opening period is from March 3 through June 9. In addition to cherry blossom viewing, why not go appreciate the beautiful nature, architecture, and art pieces?

The rows of cherry trees seen from the Reception Pavilion are also beautiful.

■DATA Miho Museum Address: 300 Momodani, Tashiro, Shigaraki, Koka, Shiga Hours: 10:00 - 17:00 (last admission at 16:00) Closed: Every Monday (or the next business day if Monday is a national holiday) during periods of regular operation in the spring, summer and fall. The museum is also closed for exhibition changes, etc. Please check the website. Admission fee: Adults ¥1,300, High school and college students ¥1,000, Elementary and junior high school students free Fees are different for group visitors and visitors with disability certificates, so please check the website. Tel: 0748-82-3411 Official website: https://www.miho.jp/en/

(Information as of January 2024.)

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