The distance from Kyoto may make getting here seem daunting, but the Miho Museum is well worth the trip, thanks both to its phenomenal architecture and impressive worldly collection. Conceived by architect I. M. Pei, the building uses many of the same design elements and construction techniques employed at his extension for the Louvre in Paris. The exquisite collection consists of more than 2,000 pieces, including Syrian floor mosaics, Iranian metal ornaments, Egyptian
statuary, Afghani Buddha icons, and Roman frescos. Roughly 250 pieces are on display at any one time in temporary exhibitions that change seasonally. An on-site restaurant sells bento meals with organic ingredients for about ¥1,000, and a tearoom serves Japanese and Western beverages and desserts. From Kyoto Station, take the JR Tokaido Line to Ishiyama Station; from there the Teisan Line bus to the museum takes 50 minutes. Buses to Miho, which cost ¥800 one-way, run on the hour from 9 to 6.