If your staying in Kyoto or Osaka and want to experience a complete different side of Japan then hop on a train and head to the island of Naoshima.

The small island is situated in the prefecture of Kagawa and is purely dedicated to modern art.

From the moment you step off the boat at Minoyama port you are greeted by Yayoi Kusama’s giant Red Pumpkin along with several more open air exhibits.

From this point you can opt to visit the large Chichu Art Museum, Lee Ufan Museum and the Benesse House which are located in the south, or you can travel east to collection of tradition Japanese houses which have been transformed into modern art spaces.

Several hours can easily be spent in each section of the island and they are within walking distance of each other. Thre is also a  bus which runs between each area of the island.

How to get to Naoshima

Take the Shinkansen to Okayama then hop on the local train to the Uno Ferry Terminal (You can also board a bus to the port). From Uno, take a 15 minute ferry to Naoshima’s Miyanoura Port.

Notable exhibits to visit:

First and foremost the Chichu Art Museum is a must visit. We at Wave have visited numerous modern art galleries across the world but none match the Chichu in terms of scale or impressiveness of exhibitions.

The museum was designed by the legendary Ando Tadao and the building itself is a work of art. The building is mostly located underground and solely utilises natural light to illuminate the artwork. This creates a viewing experience that is heavily influenced by the surrounding natural environment.

Benesse House

The Benesse House – also designed by And Tadao –  is a modern art museum and resort hotel on the south of the island. The museum complex is the centerpiece of the Naoshima’s art installation and consists of four buildings: the Museum, Oval, Park and Beach.

Art House Project

The Art House Project is located on the eastern half of the island in the small port town named Honmura.

The picturesque town is home to a collection of abandoned traditional Japanese houses and an old temple which have been converted into modern art installations. A ticket to visit all the homes along with a helpful map & guide can be purchased from the information centre in the Honmura Lounge.

 

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