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Overview

Popular as an art island along the Seto Inland Sea of Japan, Naoshima houses the work of some of Japan’s most iconic contemporary artists. Discover the eclectic work of Yayoi Kusama art and sculptors, to the beauty of simplicity in renowned architect, Tadao Ando’s designs. This is a perfect trip for an arts and cultural weekend getaway. 

Trip Highlights

Naoshima Art island Exploration

Japan’s most iconic contemporary artists

Museum hop to experience the work of Japan’s most iconic contemporary artists.

Rooms of artist

Discover the personal obsessions with dots, nets, pumpkins and infinity rooms of artist, Yayoi Kusama. 

World renowned architect

Immerse in the simple yet impressive design spaces of world renowned architect, Tadao Ando. 

Itinerary

1

Arrival in Naoshima

Okayama Station to Uno Station: 50 min Uno Port to Miyanoura Port: 15 min (ferry)

Today is a self-guided day.

After breakfast, head out for Naoshima, one of the small art islands in Seto Inland Sea that hosts the triannual contemporary art festival, Setouchi Triennale.

Suggested Self-Guided Itinerary:

After docking at Miyanoura Port, stop by the tourist information center to get some helpful maps, buy some local snacks or even rent a bicycle.

Stay a bit longer around the area and take some photos of the iconic red pumpkin, one of the outdoor sculptures by the Japanese contemporary artist, Yayoi Kusama.

Stop by I U (“I Love You”), a combination of art and public bathhouse (sento) showcasing various styles of wall art and design.

On the eastern side of Naoshima is Ando Museum. The world-renowned architect worked on the interior design of the museum using his signature plain-concrete structure that comes in contrast with the façade, which is a traditional Japanese-style house.

From here, take the local bus to Tsutsuji-so and find another iconic work of Yayoi Kusama. Before catching the complimentary shuttle to the Benesse House, take some time to relax on the beach.

Notes:

  • Most of the museums and art galleries on Naoshima are closed on Mondays.
  • It is highly recommended that the entrance tickets for Chichu Art Museum be bought online in advance. When purchasing the tickets, please choose the preferred entry time for the visit. Online tickets need to be exchanged for admission tickets to the museum on the day of the visit; this can be done at the front desk.
  • Guests staying at the Benesse House can use the free shuttle service from Tsutsuji-so bus stop to Chichu Art Museum Ticket Center bus stop. Benesse House Museum and Lee Ufan Museum are in between these stops. Moreover, clients also have free access to the Benesse House Museum, which is open from 08:00 to 21:00.

Overnight on Naoshima

2

Naoshima

Today is a self-guided day.

Suggested Self-Guided Itinerary:

Start with the Chichu Art Museum, another signature work of Tadao Ando known for its manifestation of the relationship between mankind and Mother Nature. Ando designed the museum in a way that it does not disrupt the natural beauty of Seto region, constructing the entire building almost completely underground. Aside from the impressive architectural design, the works of James Turrell, Claude Monet, and Walter de Maria can also be enjoyed.

Next is the Lee Ufan Museum, the result of the collaboration between Lee Ufan and Tadao Ando. The theme of this museum circles around the tranquility and stillness of life and its harmonious existence with nature.

Alternative suggested Self-Guided Itinerary:

Teshima

Teshima, a rural island in the Seto Inland Sea, with uncountable rice paddies and stunning coastlines, is mostly known for its exhibitions of contemporary art. In past years, both locals and foreigners have come to the island t o visit the Les Archives du Cœur, the Teshima Yokoo House, and, last but definitely not the least, the magnificent architecture of the Teshima Art Museum.

Distance and journey time (approximation):

Takamatsu Port to Ieura Port: 35-50 min

Shodoshima

Shodoshima, the second largest island in the region, is known as the birthplace of olive production in the country. Unlike its neighboring islands, it features not just its galleries but also its nature and pleasant climate, attracting both art enthusiasts and travelers who want to experience a Mediterranean-like atmosphere. Main attractions on the island include the Olive Park, the Kankakei Gorge, and the Angle Road. Access to the island can be via one of the 2 main ports, Tonosho or Kusakabe, and getting around by rental car is the most convenient option.

Distance and journey time (approximation):

Takamatsu Port to Tonosho Port or Kusakabe Port: 60 min

Note: Ferry schedules may change without prior notice; fees are to be paid on spot.

Overnight in Naoshima

3

Departure from Naoshima

Today leave Naoshima for the next destination.

Important Information

Our Services Include:

  • Hotel accommodation with daily breakfast
  • Meals as mentioned in the itinerary (B = Breakfast, L = Lunch, D = Dinner)
  • Train tickets from and to Tokyo or Okayama station
  • Train and ferry tickets to and from Miyanoura Port
  • Self-guide app and customized travel documentation

Our Services Do Not Include:

  • International and domestic flights (quoted separately)
  • Some local transport (e.g. local city buses, taxi transfers, etc.)
  • Meals other than mentioned above
  • Personal expenses (e.g. drinks, laundry, telephone, and other expenditures of a personal nature)
  • Travel insurance (please see below)
  • Other services not clearly indicated in the package inclusions above

Customize this tour

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