We continued past the Benesse House Museum to explore more of the artworks on the grounds. Panoramic sea view terrace of the cafe at Chichu Art Museum. We didn’t buy tickets in advance and the earliest tickets we could get were for 11.30am. Intersperse your visits with a coffee break or lunch at one of the handful of charming cafes run by a mix of locals and transplants from cities like Tokyo and Osaka. The Art House project is a particular highlight, as one gets to visit traditional buildings repurposed to house artworks and installations. Please read our disclosure for more info. It took us about 15 minutes to cycle back from Honmura to Miyanoura Port. Naoshima art island, Japan, is an off-the-beaten path destination perfect for a second visit to Japan. From Naoshima to Inujima, there are only three ferry departures at 9:20 a.m, 12:10 p.m., and 2:50 p.m. Traveling to Naoshima is relatively easy. Cost 1050 yen ($10). Where is Naoshima. Dec 08, 2020 Naoshima Info Notice of temporary suspension for new reservations at Art House Project "Kinza" Nov 26, 2020 Naoshima Info Information of the opening hours on Art House Project and ANDO MUSEUM Nov 10, 2020 Inujima Notice of reopening: Inujima "Art House Project" C Art … While usually missed by first-time visitors to Japan, Naoshima is just a short ferry ride from Japan’s main island of Honshu, and has an atmosphere like nowhere else. Honmura is a cute village of wooden buildings and narrow lanes with some cool looking cafes. Another site not to be missed is Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama’s famous “Kabocha” (Pumpkin) sculpture, located a short walk from Benesse House’s Park building. It’s thoroughly immersive, completely different and somewhere we will never forget. It might be a bit strange to add this to the list of to-dos, but genuinely renting a bike … You can also contact us at +1-619-272-6978 or travel [at] boutiquejapan [dot com]. “Ando Island” also features many structures created by award-winning artist, Tadao Ando. Coming from Tokyo to Naoshima is too far for a day trip as it takes over three hours on the bullet train just to get to Okayama. Naoshima Art Island Introduction. Even if you have only a little time, this island is an intriguing and worthwhile excursion. This is the main island, where Tadao Ando built his architectural masterpieces, the … Continue from Okayama as above. You could take the free shuttle back to Chichu from here, but we walked and explored more of the outdoor installations on the way. By doing this we were first off the ferry and headed straight across the road to Ougiya bike rental (open from 9am – 6pm, 1100 yen/$9 for an e-bike). You can then proceed from Okayama as described above. You can use a Japan Rail Pass to get to the port at Uno, but it won’t cover the ferry to Naoshima. The laid-back island of Teshima is located about thirty minutes by ferry from Naoshima. Andres founded Boutique Japan to share his passion and enthusiasm for Japan, and over the years he has had the opportunity to help hundreds of wonderful travelers from around the world experience Japan in a truly personal and immersive way. We live and breathe Japan, and want you to experience the Japan we know and love. This is very easy (even if you only have a 3-minute connection like us) as you just cross the platform. The unique James Turrell Open Field room was worth the 15-minute wait. Naoshima Island is located in the Seto Inland Sea (also known as Setouchi) which lies between three of Japan’s main islands, Honshu, Shikoku and Kyushu. Naoshima, commonly known as Japan’s art island, is a tiny island in the Seto Inland Sea, and one of our absolute favorite places in Japan. I recommend it for everyone as it has a characterful setting in a 90-year-old house and serves tasty, healthy meals with a focus on brown rice. Closed Mondays. The tiny fishing village of Honmura, on the eastern edge of Naoshima, is home to the Art House Project, a collection of abandoned houses and workshops (as well as a temple and a shrine), that have been converted into venues and art installations by artists from Japan and around the world. Enjoy your visit to Naoshima and Benesse Art Site, and make sure to also see our post on Japan’s best art destinations! On a beautiful early spring day, I took a 20 minutes ferry ride from Uno port to Naoshima in Setouchi inlet. I recommend booking tickets for 10.15am (you’ll have until 10.45am to enter) but at popular times you’ll need to book a week or so in advance. You acknowledge that your email will be transferred to Mailchimp for processing. It has a population of approximately 3,000 people. At our allocated entrance time for Chichu Art Museum we dropped off our bags at the free lockers at the ticket office, exchanged our tickets, and walked down the Monet-inspired garden path to the museum. A budget option by the beach at Benesse is to stay in a simple yurt or cottage at Tsutsuji-so. Part of Kagawa prefecture, the island has warm weather and sandy beaches and an astonishing array of art experiences. Explore Naoshima holidays and discover the best time and places to visit. It’s a great escape from the busy cities and we had a relaxing day cycling in the sun, enjoying the scenery, and admiring some unique art and architecture. The small island of Naoshima is a startling art and architecture destination, with architect Tadao Ando serving as the creative director. I considered staying at Episode 1 which has small apartments with kitchens and free bike rentals. The 1.5 hours we had spare was just enough time to visit Benesse House and the Yellow Pumpkin, but two hours would have been more leisurely and allowed us time to stop in the Benesse Cafe. The museum is located in another dramatic concrete building designed by Tadao Ando. The Art Island, Naoshima. Before planning your trip, make sure to consult the Benesse Art Site Calendar. On the neighboring art islands of Teshima and Inujima, most exhibits are usually closed on Tuesdays. The nearest major city is Okayama (on Honshu), which you’ll need to pass through to reach Naoshima if you are coming from other major cities like Hiroshima or Osaka. We got the set lunch (850 yen/ $8) which is vegan and includes brown rice, vegetables, tofu, and miso soup (made without dashi). Can I leave luggage at Uno station? This page contains affiliate links. The museum was designed by architect Tadao Ando on high ground overlooking the Seto Inland Sea. By clicking the link in the confirmation email, you consent to being sent newsletters and special offers. Details: Open 11am – 3pm. I’ve also included accommodation options in case you decide to spend longer on the island. Aisunao is one of the few (possibly only) vegetarian-friendly restaurants on the island. There are also a number of minshuku (Japanese guesthouses) around the island. It’s mostly underground and uses natural light from skylights to illuminate the works. | CST 2114860-40 | Terms & Conditions | Privacy Policy | Contact & Business Hours, Planning a Trip to Japan in the Time of Covid. Okayama isn’t a popular tourist destination in Japan, but we found it a useful base for taking day trips, including to Naoshima. We loved cycling around the relaxed island and combining art with beautiful sea views and tiny fishing villages. Check out these Kyoto day trips instead. Naoshima, commonly known as Japan’s art island, is a tiny island in the Seto Inland Sea, and one of our absolute favorite places in Japan. Little Plum and TVC in Miyanoura also rent bikes, but electric bikes are more expensive at 1500 yen ($14). Non-guests can use the island’s local buses (less frequent but easy to use). Renting bikes is a better way to explore the island. From Okayama you need to take the train to Uno which takes 40–60 minutes. It’s well worth adding to your Japan itinerary for something a little different, even if you are not an art expert (we aren’t!). The journey from Okayama to Naoshima took us 1 hour 20 minutes. Benesse House guests have access to the convenient hotel shuttle, which does a loop of the island’s main art sites. Naoshima (直島) is an island in the Seto Inland Sea that is known for its modern art museums, architecture and sculptures. Created in 1994, the Naoshima pumpkin has become an iconic symbol of the island, attracting many art appreciators. There are fantastic views as well as interesting art installations, many of them with a sea theme. However, during holidays (for example, over 3-day weekends), most exhibits remain open on Monday and close on Tuesday instead. Since then more art museums have opened and sculptures appeared across the island including Yayoi Kusama’s iconic yellow pumpkin (known as the Naoshima pumpkin). The best way to go for an island tour is to rent a bike or a car to save time. The seven participants in the project are scattered throughout Reaching them requires some extra effort, although during the Setouchi Triennale inter-island ferry frequency is increased. Some are outdoors. See our guide to the 50 Best Gifts for Travelers which includes unique suggestions for exploring the world at home. Enter your email to sign up for our monthly newsletter with exclusive travel tips and updates. | As the location of the Benesse Art Site, the island of Naoshima (直島) has become one of the region's biggest tourist attractions, offering a unique opportunity to see some of Japan's best contemporary art in gorgeous natural settings. It was our favourite work of the day. The small island of Inujima is located about forty minutes by ferry from Naoshima, or just ten minutes by ferry from the mainland port of Hoden. ... Vesteralen Island , 1990 / Naoshima / Benesse House Museum Outdoor Works Pine Trees , 2001 / Naoshima / Benesse House Park World Trade Center , 1997 / Naoshima / Benesse House Park. Naoshima, Japan’s Art Island Naoshima is Japan’s art island. We stayed in Naoshima … About 175km southwest of Kyoto, Naoshima (pronounced like “now-she-ma”) is a small island in the Inland Sea between Japan’s main islands of Honshu and Shikoku. The sleepy island with just 3000 inhabitants is an unlikely art hub, but since the opening of the Benesse House Museum in the early 90s, art has revitalised the island. Known for its waterfront pumpkin sculptures, it also has a wealth of other outdoor art and museums mixed in with its old industrial infrastructure and traditional villages. Aisunao website (use Google Translate). The island was included in National Geographic’s 19 Places to Indulge Yourself, featuring tips from Boutique Japan founder Andres Zuleta. As most of the art galleries don’t open until 10am, this was the ideal arrival time for a day trip. There are many art museums and sculptures on the island. Where to stay on Naoshima And it is easy to get to Naoshima. We bought our combo tickets for all sites from the Honmura Lounge & Archive. It was easier not having to bring our luggage and we had enough time to see the highlights, but spending a night or two would allow you to take things more slowly. We didn’t have to wait to be served, but by the time we left a few minutes later there was a long queue. Naoshima is famous for its contemporary art museums as well as outdoor contemporary art installations throughout the island. Sculptures, installations and modern art galleries are everywhere. We arrived at Miyanoura port by ferry from Uno and rented e-bikes to explore the island (see above). By clicking the Submit button, you give consent for us to store your information for the purposes of displaying your comment and you accept the terms of our Privacy Policy. Finally, from Uno it’s a short 20-minute journey by ferry to Naoshima’s Miyanoura Port. When you are on the ferry, head to the disembarkation area as soon as you start approaching Miyanoura port on Naoshima. "Benesse Art Site Naoshima" is the collective name for all art-related activities conducted by Benesse Holdings, Inc. and Fukutake Foundation on the islands of Naoshima and Teshima in Kagawa Prefecture and on Inujima island in Okayama Prefecture. The Setouchi Triennale is a contemporary art festival that takes place on Naoshima and other islands in the Seto Inland Sea. I also tried some delicious peach sake from Okayama. Guests of Benesse House can then hop in the hotel shuttle to check in, or begin seeing art. Naoshima art island is a really surreal place to visit in Japan and for anyone interested in art in general, while the Okayama Gardens are one of the best Japanese Gardens in Japan. We took the inland route and it only took us 10 minutes to cycle to Honmura. It would have been nice to stay on the island for sunset, but we were feeling too tired. Benesse Art Site provides the most up-to-date information on works, schedules, and getting to and around Teshima. Electric bicycles and scooters can be a good option for navigating the hilly island. As we stayed in the Hotel Granvia Okayama, which is connected to the train station, the trip was simple. We stopped at the Cherry Blossom Labyrinth on the way, but although the blossoms were blooming it wasn’t very labyrinth-like. As for how long to stay, while visiting Naoshima as a day trip is possible, it would be quite rushed – so we typically recommend spending at least one or two nights on the island. Below are some of Naoshima’s many highlights. They encourage you to book tickets online in advance as it’s so popular. There are two ferry ports on Naoshima. See our guide to the best things to do in Okayama, Japan. We walked to them all except Haisha which we cycled to on the way back to Miyanoura Port. For many (myself included), Naoshima’s highlight is Tadao Ando’s stunning Chichu Art Museum. … Erin • nev-clockNovember 22, 2019 • nev-balloon6. More on getting to Naoshima, and the Uno-Naoshima ferry schedule. The sleepy island with just 3000 inhabitants is an unlikely art hub, but since the opening of the Benesse House Museum in the early 90s, art has revitalised the island. There aren’t many direct trains so you may have to change at Chayamachi. Details: Open daily 8am – 9pm. Haisha, one of the Art House Project venues. We got the 9.22am ferry from Uno to Miyanoura which takes 20 minutes and arrives at 9.42am. We dropped off our bikes and went to look at the Red Pumpkin by Yayoi Kusama. Naoshima Island is a small island in Japan’s Seto Inland Sea known for its contemporary art galleries and outdoor sculptures. Naoshima’s most unique and coveted accommodation option is Benesse House. One of the outdoor artworks: Cultural Melting Bath: Project for Naoshima by Cai Guo-Qiang. Whether you’re just daydreaming for the moment, or planning a trip for the future, we’ve compiled essential information about visiting…, The good news for travelers is that there is no single best time of year to travel to Japan —…, If you’re looking for the best ramen shop in all of Japan, you may be embarking on a lifelong quest.…. The noodle soups do contain dashi (fish stock). Benesse House guests have special early-morning and late-night access to the museum, and the hotel also has a spa, two restaurants (Japanese and French), and a very convenient shuttle to Naoshima’s art sites. The story behind the Benesse Art Site Naoshima, to give the project its full name, is intriguing too. Naoshima Island is known for its many contemporary art museums. If you’re as obsessed with the details as we are, chances are we will be a good fit. On most Friday and Saturday evenings, the museum also hosts the Open Sky Night Program, a special sunset viewing of James Turrell’s “Open Sky.”. See our privacy policy. A group of Japanese artists rejuvenated the island. Where possible, advance rental is advisable. The distances between sights aren’t long (we never cycled more than 15 minutes in one go), but there are a few big hills so it’s well worth renting an electric bike which makes them much easier. This means the art and building change with the passing of seasons and weather. The lines got quite long, so do head straight over if you only have ten minutes before the ferry as we did. The lockers at Uno station. The food isn’t great, though, so it’s better to wait until Honmura and perhaps just get a drink. In 2017 on the advice of many artsy friends, we traveled from Tokyo to Naoshima in the Seto Sea. There are buses between the main sights in Naoshima, but they are not very frequent and can be crowded. None of them are far apart and visits don’t take very long as they usually consist of one or two rooms. For example, the Chichu Art Museum (literally, "in the earth") houses a number of site-specific installations by James Turrell, Walter De Maria, and paintings by Claude Monet. We liked the idea of being able to self-cater as many restaurants close in the evenings and we thought we’d struggle to find vegetarian options. Please read our, You can search for more accommodation on Naoshima here, dos and don’ts of planning a trip to Japan, 10 Wonderful Things to Do in Okayama, Japan. Take the shinkansen (bullet train) — from, for example, Tokyo, Kyoto or Osaka — to the city of Okayama, home of the famous Korakuen Garden. T. Cost 2100 yen ($19). The Falls , 2006 / Naoshima / Art House Project "Ishibashi" The Garden of Kū , 2009 / Naoshima / Art House Project "Ishibashi" Sputniko! It started in the late 1980s when billionaire … It’s larger than the Yellow Pumpkin and you can go inside. A group of Japanese artists rejuvenated the island. It’s a fun way to explore the village and offers a different experience from the art museums. Required fields are marked *. The ‘art island’ of Naoshima on the Seto Inland Sea is a must-visit for art lovers, particularly during the Setouchi Art Triennale. Your email address will not be published. To get from Osaka to Naoshima, you’ll need to take the shinkansen (bullet train) from Shin-Osaka station to Okayama which takes about 45–50 minutes. Rent a bicycle. The Naoshima (Miyanoura) island was famous for making sea salt and was abandoned after decline of the industry. Naoshima is well worth visiting if you are a modern art fan. Benesse House Museum is a 15-minute walk from Chichu with sea views, art installations, and cherry blossoms (in April) to enjoy along the way. When Is The Best Time of Year To Visit Japan? If you buy onsite you are still buying an e-ticket which needs to be exchanged for another ticket no more than 10 minutes before your allocated time. It’s a 15-minute hilly but scenic bike ride from Miyanoura on a quiet road. Chichu Art Museum. Ferries to and from the island are somewhat limited (access to Teshima), and the Teshima Shuttle Bus also has a limited schedule (not to mention requiring a fairly significant amount of walking). Are you looking for Christmas gift ideas? The Monet Room features surprisingly traditional art—huge paintings from the Water Lillies series lit with natural light. The Naoshima (Miyanoura) island was famous for making sea salt and was abandoned after decline of the industry. Copyright © 2020 Boutique Japan Travel Company LLC. Use the excellent Hyperdia website or app to check train times and prices. Getting to and around Teshima is not always easy. Don’t make the mistake we did—before you get lunch, buy your Art House tickets and reserve a slot to visit Minamidera (see below). Even if someone says that Disneyland is the happiest place on earth–someone else affirms that it is Ikea–I’d like […] There’s something for every budget. Instagram-worthy places – is the one that is stubbornly against being exposed on Instagram. We left our bikes at the Chichu parking but you could park a little further along at the north gate. In Honmura you could also visit the Ando Museum (open 10am – 4.30pm, 520 yen/$5), but it has mixed reviews and we skipped it. While they are often considered the main draw, the island is also home to an abundance of architectural creations that are worthy of a visit in themselves. It’s more important to get to the art museums before they start getting too busy. Getting from Kyoto to Naoshima takes at least 2.5 hours and would be a long day trip. Cost 1050 yen ($10) for a combo ticket. Museum. They are less crowded and feature some interesting contemporary art. It’s a 15-minute walk from Honmura. Opt-out at any time (an unsubscribe link is at the bottom of every email). Naoshima is a small island in the Seto Inland Sea between Okayama and Kagawa Prefectures. I recommend leaving by 8am to make the most of your day trip. The Walter De Maria room uses reflections from a skylight to illuminate a giant sphere on a staircase. It’s home to the Art House Project which features a series of exhibitions in various houses. Travel Journal. Personally, I think Naoshima is a bit too far for a day trip and you’d be better off spending the night on the island or visiting from Okayama or Hiroshima. You can also buy tickets at Benesse House and other locations. Naoshima is also bicycle friendly (we recommend renting an electric bicycle to navigate the island’s hills). Naoshima island is also home to the ‘Yellow Pumpkin’, a black-dotted sculpture by Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama. Apart from Benesse House, Naoshima is home primarily to budget-oriented accommodations, such as traditional minshuku (Japanese guesthouses), as well as yurts. Another nearby art gallery we could have visited is the Lee Ufan Museum (open 10am–6pm, 1050 yen/ $10), but we decided to skip it as it seemed a lot to cover in one day (and the entry costs add up). The Teshima Art Museum itself is reason alone to visit, but the island is also home to several other highlights, including Christian Boltanski’s “Les Archives du Cœur” and the Teshima Yokoo House. We left Okayama at 8.24am (on the Marine-Liner 11 for Takamatsu) and arrived at Uno at 9.10am with a brief change at Chayamachi. On Naoshima island itself, most exhibits are usually closed on Mondays. Its’ most famous artefact is the yellow pumpkin sitting on the seashore. You could also walk around Naoshima, but it will be more difficult to fit everything in during a day trip—a bike gives you more time to enjoy the sights. The most famous is the Yellow Pumpkin sculpture by Yayoi Kusama which sits on the end of the pier. Yayoi Kusama’s Red Pumpkin sculpture is at the port, but I recommend waiting to get a closer look until the end of the day. The peaceful area was the most attractive part of the island we visited. Naoshima now attracts art lovers from around the world. Naoshima is an internationally recognized island for its unique role in showcasing artwork throughout the island and an advocate in sustainability by implementing a “zero-emission” initiative. If you have a longer stay on the island, you could also visit one of the neighbouring art islands such as Teshima and Inujima which can be reached by ferry from Naoshima. It’s expensive, though, and books up quickly. The Chichu Art Museum is a museum built directly into a southern portion of the island of Naoshima in Kagawa Prefecture, Japan. We ended up visiting four of the art houses. But which came out top? It’s a happy experience, and everybody knows that describing happiness is never easy. NAOSHIMA Art spread on the island Trying to describe a visit to the Japanese art islands of Naoshima and Teshima is quite hard. From Okayama, head south by local train (or, better yet, private vehicle) to the small port town of Uno about one hour away. Once on Inujima, you can simply get around on foot. The cafe also looked beautiful, but we didn’t have time to stop. Details: Open 10am – 4.30pm. You can’t cycle (or drive) through the private Benesse area, so you can either use their free shuttle or walk, which we did as the shuttle times didn’t work for us. Naoshima Island is a small island in Japan’s Seto Inland Sea known for its contemporary art galleries and outdoor sculptures. The ferry was comfortable with toilets, vending machines, and armchairs facing the windows for enjoying the view. You might have seen images of one of Yayoi Kusama’s iconic pumpkin sculptures located near Miyanaura Port. You are given a key for the bike which you pick up in a shed a few minutes walk away. Our favourites were Kadoya (featuring an indoor pond) and Haisha (a quirky junkyard house). Tickets cost 300 yen ($3) and are sold at the boarding pier at the ticket office or vending machines. We were feeling tired and didn’t want to wait two hours, so we skipped it. We also had a snack in the cafe which has panoramic sea views. Chichu Art Museum is the most popular museum on the island. Unfortunately, they had sold out of timed tickets for Minamidera and when we went to the venue itself the earliest time they had was 4pm. This page contains affiliate links. Continue as above. They also have some unique local salty souvenirs (like salt soda and sweets). The ferry is across the road from the station—just follow the crowd. To get from Hiroshima to Naoshima, take the shinkansen to Okayama which takes about 35 minutes on the Nozomi (not covered by the Japan Rail Pass) or 40 minutes on the Sakura. 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