| Hokkaido

Ayako Miura Memorial Literature Museum built on the location of the novel “Hyoten”

When crossing the “Hyoten bridge” which is located on the JR Asahikawa station side of the Chubetsu river, you walk straight for about 15 minutes, then you will see the “Foreign Tree Specimen Forest.” Located in the vicinity of the entrance to the forest is the “Ayako Miura Memorial Literature Museum” where many foreign tourists visit.
This literary pavilion was created by donations from the whole country, hoping that Akiko Miura(三浦綾子), a writer born in Asahikawa, would be acknowledged for her achievements both domestically and abroad. In the hall is a huge collection of materials that convey the essence of Miura’s Literature and her lifetime. Her masterpiece novel, “Hyoten,” has become a movie and drama many times, and has been loved by many fans indeed for over fifty years since its creation. Those who have read the work, as well as those who have not read it, are surrounded by rich greenery and will enjoy this relaxing space.


Enjoy learning about the history of Miura literature!

The novel “Hyoten” was written in 1963, when Ayako Miura was 41 years old. Ayako Miura had taken off work at a small shop at that time, to enter a novel writing contest for a prize of 10 million yen. She won, and her novel was serialized in newspapers from the following year and it became very popular.
The stage of the novel is a foreign species specimen forest that Miura Ayako was familiar with since childhood. The Literature Museum exhibits a lot of manuscripts, photographs, material gathering notes and other materials and conveys her powerful work.
many books
After that, “Hyoten” was translated into 14 languages including English, French, German, Chinese. In addition, in the next 35 years Ayako Miura announced over 80 works in a variety of genres including novels, autobiography, essays, tanka, diary, and so on. This work is aligned in the exhibition room.

She had a deep love affair with her husband Mitsuyo!

In the literature pavilion, when you make a reservation with a “Miura literature guide,” you can get much of the information explained in detail. When you hear the explanation, your understanding deepens and you can spend a more fulfilling time. In particular, Ayako Miura’s life is impressive and it is displayed in detail as if it were a novel world.
Ayako Miura, who was baptized as a Christian during, married Mitsuyo Miura of Christian faith as well. From the time she wrote “Shiokari- toge her husband Mitsuyo(光世)took dictation instead of Ayako, who ceased to be able to write letters due to the pain that developed in her hand.
Ayako Miura said that whenever a new book was published, she wrote words of appreciation to her husband.
Shinji Nanba(難波真実), secretary general of the literature hall, says, “Ayako’s life is dramatic enough to make it a continuous television novel.”

What is a hexagonal motif?

The building of the literature hall is a hexagonal design made to resemble a crystal of snow. The center of the building is empty and you can see the shape well by looking up at the ceiling from the center of the floor.
The Hexagonal motif is also used in the logo of the memorial hall. It is also the image of the shape of the trees in the forest seen from directly above. In addition to plenty of books, they also sell original goods such as bottles and manuscripts at the shop.
books and goods
stained glass
A stained glass with a hexagonal design is also fitted into the window of the stairs. The shape of the window frame looks like a big cross.

The tea room also has healthy atmosphere!

There is also a cute tea room in one corner of the literary pavilion. Coniferous trees that grow quietly outside the window make for a beautiful view every season.
table and chere

Photo provided: Ayako Miura Memorial Literature Museum

cofee and kasutera
A popular menu item in the tea room is the “Asahikawa Meika Set” (400 yen). You may have coffee or tea with local sweets. It is also possible that a healthy squirrel will show up when he takes a breath of relief.
While being close to residential areas, literature hall is a place full of nature where you can spend a mild time while touching the theme of “How people should live” that penetrates Miura literature.

Smart tip
  • If you make a reservation in advance from the official website, you can enjoy the volunteer’s explanation inside the hall. OK for individuals and groups, the journey time is about 20 minutes and the fee is free (entrance fee to literature museum only).
  • Original literary exhibitions are held three times a year at the Literature Museum. Since various contents are devised every time, there are new discoveries even when visiting many times during sightseeing.
  • A commemorative event was held in 2016, which is just 50 years from the publication of the magazine of the novel “Shiokari- toge". The footpath walking the novel's stage is also very popular. For details, please check the official website.
What's interesting

Do not forget to explore the foreign species specimen forest after visiting the literature hall. Whether you walk slowly on the straw pine forest that comes out at "Hiyoten" or view the beautiful cherry blossoms in the spring, you will feel like a novel character!