You’ll find the sleepy island of Naoshima in the Seto Inland sea. Its laid back pace, beaches and bright weather give it a wonderfully Mediterranean atmosphere, but it’s art enthusiasts more so than sun-seekers that flock here.
In recent years, Naoshima has become renowned for its internationally important contemporary art galleries, exhibitions and installations. Benesse House is the island’s original museum and one of its best. Designed by world famous Japanese architect Tadao Ando, it features works by Andy Warhol, Richard Long and Bruce Nauman. A number of the island’s old village houses have been converted into art spaces showcasing Japanese and international artists and even Naoshima’s municipal buildings and schools boast contemporary flare, designed by the modern architect Ishii Kazuhiro.
While the island is small in size and can easily be seen on a day trip from Tokyo and Osaka, you won’t regret spending a few more days if your itinerary allows. You’ll be kept busy visiting the island’s artistic establishments which include the Chichu Art Museum and its works by Claude Monet, Walter de Maria and James Turrell, but there are also beautiful mountains and beaches to enjoy here.
What to do
- Visit the Benesse House Complex
- Tour the Chichu Art Museum
- Cycle around the Island
- Lee Ufan Museum
- Art House Projects
- Naoshima Bathhouse