A paradise of art and leisure
Inujima is a small island located in the Seto Inland Sea, just off the coast of the city of Okayama. It is a serene and picturesque island that offers a unique blend of art and leisure. With its stunning natural beauty and vibrant art scene, Inujima has become a popular destination for both locals and tourists alike.
The island got its name, which means “Dog Island,” from a large rock formation that resembles a sitting dog. In the past, pirates used the island as a base for raiding in the Seto Inland Sea. However, today, it is much better known for its artistic and recreational offerings.
One of the main attractions on Inujima is the island’s museum, which offers a unique sensory art experience. The museum is housed in a building that was once a copper refinery. The remains of the refinery have been transformed into a stunning art space, with impressive installations spread throughout the island. These installations are often swapped around, creating a dynamic and ever-changing art experience.
Visitors to Inujima can also enjoy strolling around the entire island. Despite its small size, the island is dotted with small garden plots that divide the houses. The pathways form a maze that is easy to get lost in, but with the island being only four kilometers in circumference, you won’t be lost for long. The adventure of exploring the island’s winding paths adds to the charm and allure of Inujima.
For those looking for a different perspective of the island, renting a kayak is highly recommended. Kayaking around the island allows you to see its beauty from a unique vantage point. The crystal-clear waters of the Seto Inland Sea provide a tranquil setting for this activity, and it is a great way to immerse yourself in the natural surroundings.
Getting to Inujima is relatively easy. The nearest large city is Okayama, which can be reached by rail or air. From Okayama Station, you can catch a train to Saidaiji Station and then take a Ryobi bus to Hoden Port. The bus ride takes about 55 minutes, and from Nishi-Hoden, the ferry office is just a five-minute walk away. Direct buses from Okayama Station to Nishi-Hoden also operate on certain days. It is advisable to check the latest schedules for the most up-to-date information on transportation options.
Despite its small population of around 50 people, Inujima offers a wide range of activities for visitors to enjoy. The island’s beautiful and peaceful beaches attract campers and picnickers. The Inujima campgrounds on the south side of the island have facilities for those who wish to stay longer. You can choose to pitch a tent on the ground or on decks, depending on your preference. The campgrounds are also home to statues that can be found all around the island’s beachfronts. These statues, with their random geometric shapes and animal designs, add a whimsical and quirky touch to the island.
Camping season on Inujima runs from April 15 to October 15, and there are 40 tent sites available. The campground also offers tent rentals and other necessary gear. It is advisable to make reservations for sites and equipment rentals in advance. Additionally, visitors can enjoy sea kayaking with a qualified guide. Kayaking is restricted to the bay area and is suitable for beginners.
When it comes to dining options, Inujima has a small selection of places to eat. It is recommended to check with the Momotaro Tourist Information Center before visiting the island to find out if any restaurants or cafes are open on the day of your visit. The cafes on the island offer a gourmet selection of dishes made with locally sourced ingredients. These delicious dishes are sure to please most visitors and provide a taste of the island’s unique culinary offerings.
Inujima is also known for its participation in the Setouchi Triennale, a famous art event that brings vitality to the islands in the Seto Inland Sea. The island buzzes with events and one-off exhibits during the art festival, which is held every three years. This festival attracts art enthusiasts from all over the world, who come to experience the island’s vibrant art scene.
Overall, Inujima offers a truly unique and memorable experience for visitors. Its natural beauty, coupled with its vibrant art scene and recreational opportunities, make it a paradise for art and leisure. Whether you are an art enthusiast, a nature lover, or simply seeking a peaceful escape from the mainland, Inujima is the perfect destination. Its small size and relaxed atmosphere allow visitors to fully immerse themselves in the island’s charm and tranquility. So, if you’re looking for a truly unforgettable experience, make sure to include Inujima in your travel plans.
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