In Japanese, the word 'chichu' means 'underground' and one would, therefore, tend to imagine a dark, dim space where natural light is cut off. Although part of the access way and the front lobby are extremely dark, the main exhibition space brings in natural light creatively through the two main, geometrically shaped, sunken courts. This is, rather, an 'enclosed above-ground museum'.
The south side of the island where the museum is located is part of the Seto Inland Sea national Park. The museum is in the cliff the overlook the straits of the Seto Inland Sea.