The Kiyotsu Gorge and Ma Yansong/MAD Architects' "Tunnel of Light"
The Kiyotsu Gorge in Tokamachi City, Niigata, is one of Japan’s three great canyons and has also been designated a National Place of Scenic Beauty and Natural Monument. The Kiyotsu Gorge Tunnel was renovated in 2018 for the Echigo-Tsumari Art Triennale by MAD Architects, an architectural design firm. This artwork is known as the “Tunnel of Light.”The shallow pool in the center of the room projects a magnificent reflection of the view at the opening of the tunnel. Each season holds something different for this gorgeous, natural artwork: beautifully changing green, orange, and brown leaves in autumn; a snow-covered, serene canyon in winter; the blooming leaves of trees and wildlife waking up in the first weeks of spring; the lush greenery of the trees and mountain plants, and the calm river flowing in summer. No matter the season, the scenery viewed through this tunnel is certain to impress any visitor. The Tunnel of Light offers a perfect escape to be at one with nature and breathe in the crisp air of the mountains.