This being my fourth trip to Japan, I had to make it a priority to visit the incredible ‘art island’ of Naoshima. Had I the chance to redo this experience, I would have allotted at least 3 days of our trip to this incredible island.
Depart Tokyo Station at 7am
5 hour Bullet Train on the Hikari Line to Okayama
Local train from Okayama to Chayamachi– Transfer to Uno Line
Another Local train to Uno Station
Ferry from Uno to Miyanoura Port
Hotel Bus to Benesse House to arrive at 2:30pm
In total, it took, well I don’t want to think about the duration, it is about the journey after all. Just look at this map for reference:
I would highly suggest travelling to Okayama and Naoshima from Osaka or Kyoto, if you want to make the most of this Island.
Amazing Mt. Fuji views from window of our Hikari bullet train. It fascinates me to see the amount of people who could not give a fuck about seeing Mt. Fuji from their window.
On the Island, we were fortunate enough to be able to stay at ‘Oval’ at The Benesse House. (You can book a room here up to 6 months in advance and I would highly recommend spending at least one night here if you have a mum who can pay for you).
Incredible sunset, looking out from Miyanoura Port.
My mum and I were lame enough to preemptively hand sew matching outfits as an homage to my favourite Japanese Artists, Yayoi Kusama.
As you can imagine, photographs in a handful of the Island’s famous galleries prohibited photographs of any kind. I will have to throw it over to google images to help me out with this one.
Current Exhibiting Artists:
Walter de Maria, Claude Monet, James Turrell
Without giving too much away, I highly recommend this gallery. Be sure to fill up on food before going (the cafe offers the choice of a salmon pida or a ham and cheese bagel with portion sizes fit for a small mouse)
The Monet exhibition space is lit entirely in natural light, as were the Walter de Maria works. It was truly amazing to witness this rare lighting of Monet’s works. They also ask you to put slippers on before entering some of the exhibits, making them incredibly silent, without the thud of tourist’s rubber sneakers.
Lee Ufan Museum
Simply stunning. A minimal presentation of the South Korean-born artist, who has hugely impacted the contemporary art movement in Japan.
The perforated concrete walls of the Bennese house continues to adorn the walls of this museum. The continuity of this minimalist architecture is what made this Island so special. Being able to reflect in the meditation room of this museum was also a worthwhile experience.
Due to our short stay, we only successfully visited three galleries. We did agree that we valued quality over quantity, and didn’t want to get cray cray on Naoshimimi.
P.S. Forgive me if I have weird English in my blog posts. Having to switch my brain between English and Japanese speaking mode takes its toll. Thinking of basic words such as ‘entertainment’ can be quite the brain workout. My brain hurts most nights, and I’ve been going to bed before 9pm each night. #earlybird #catchestheworm
P.P.S. I blame the constant language switch, but I secretly just wanted to reiterate the fact that I can speak Japanese. I assume that nobody reads post scriptum’s anyway and will just carry on thinking that I can’t really string together sentences. If my high school English teachers can ignore my terrible grammar, so can you!!! hahah ily