Echigo-Matsunoyama Museum of Natural Science

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About This Artwork

This museum was built in Matsunoyama, an area of heavy snowfall, as a center for education and training focused on natural science. In the winter it is buried in the snow, submerged like a submarine, and must bear the weight of 2,000 tons of thick snow. The snaking shape of the building reflects the walking trails around the area. The snake, of welded iron plate, changes about 20 centimeters in length between summer and winter. The weather-resistant steel plate body will slowly change color until it ultimately attains a distinctively striped velvety brown. The beautiful mountain scenery of Echigo-Tsumari can be viewed across the treetops from the 34-meter tower. Visitors in winter will be guided to the entrance between walls of snow. There, they will enter the Snow Country's unique winter world of tunnels. The museum's thick acrylic windows show visitors cross-sections of the snow whose weight they bear. Through the windows, they will also see how life goes on in the snow. In summer, beech forests and terraced rice paddies fill the windows. My hope is that this museum will persist, buried in the forest depths, for hundreds and thousands of years.

Niigata Public Free Wifi is available here. (from early August 2012 throughout the Triennale 2012).


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  • artwork no.


  • year of


  • time

    9:00-17:00 (Last entry is at 16:30)

  • price

    Adult JPY 500 or ETAT Passport or Special ticket

  • rest

    Tuesday(or Wednesday in case Tuesday is a national holiday)

  • area


  • village


  • map code


  • relation site

  • period of the artwork

    Full year

  • address or detailed place

    1712-2 Matsuguchi, Matsunoyama, Tokamachi-city, NIigata

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