Naoshima

Naoshima Island

A small island in the Seto Inland Sea, Naoshima Island is known for its vibrant contemporary art scene. Despite its small size of only 8 square kilometers, the island has become a global center for contemporary art, attracting artists and art enthusiasts from all over the world. Naoshima Island has a rich history as a former smelter town, but it has now transformed into a hub for art and culture.

One of the highlights of Naoshima Island is its impressive collection of works by renowned contemporary artists. Visitors can admire masterpieces by artists such as Yayoi Kusama, Claude Monet, James Turrell, and Tadao Ando. These artworks are on display throughout the year, allowing visitors to immerse themselves in the world of contemporary art. It is advisable to check the website for the operating days and hours of each facility before planning a visit to ensure a smooth experience.

One artwork that should not be missed is Yayoi Kusama’s representative sculpture, “Pumpkin.” This iconic sculpture has become a symbol of Naoshima Island and is a must-see for art lovers. Another unique attraction on the island is the Naoshima Bath “I♥湯,” which is not only a public bathhouse but also an art facility. Visitors can enjoy a relaxing bath while appreciating the art installations in the facility.

One of the most popular museums on Naoshima Island is the Benesse House Museum. Designed by renowned architect Tadao Ando, the museum combines the functions of an art gallery and a hotel. Perched on a hill overlooking the Seto Inland Sea, the museum offers breathtaking views of the surrounding landscape. Inside, visitors can explore site-specific artworks created by world-renowned contemporary artists. The museum also features artworks scattered throughout the natural surroundings, creating a unique and immersive art experience.

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Another museum worth visiting is the Chichu Art Museum, which houses five artworks from Claude Monet’s famous “Water Lilies” series. The museum’s structure is mostly built underground to preserve the surrounding landscape, and natural light from the ceiling illuminates Monet’s paintings in a stunning white room. The artworks’ appearance changes throughout the day as the natural light shifts, creating a dynamic and ever-changing viewing experience. In the Chichu Garden in front of the museum, visitors can also admire approximately 200 different kinds of flowers and trees that Monet used as subjects for his works.

Naoshima Island offers not only visual art but also art experiences that engage the senses. The Naoshima Bath “I♥湯” is a perfect example of this. Created by Japanese artist Shinro Ohtake, the bathhouse is both an actual bathhouse and an art installation. Various items are displayed as art, creating a unique and immersive bathing experience. Visitors can interact with the locals, relax, and unwind while experiencing art with their whole body.

The Lee Ufan Museum is another architectural masterpiece on Naoshima Island. Created by Tadao Ando in collaboration with Lee Ufan, a leading artist of the “Mono-ha” art movement, the museum offers a tranquil space for contemplation. The “Mono-ha” movement emerged in japan in the late 1960s and early 1970s and focused on the coexistence of natural and industrial materials. The Lee Ufan Museum provides visitors with an opportunity to reflect on their origins and quietly contemplate the artwork on display.

Naoshima Island is not just limited to museums and galleries; it also showcases art in everyday life. The Art House Project is a unique collaboration between art and architecture, where world-renowned artists transform houses and other structures into artworks. This project aims to revitalize the community and urban areas through art and has contributed to the island’s vibrant art scene.

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While it is possible to view major artworks on Naoshima Island during a one-night stay, it is highly recommended to stay longer to fully experience the island’s art and culture. The island offers various accommodation options, including the Benesse House Museum, where guests can stay in beautifully designed guest rooms. The museum’s guest rooms provide a unique opportunity to immerse oneself in art and culture while enjoying a comfortable stay.

In addition to the year-round art attractions, Naoshima Island also participates in the Setouchi Triennale, an art festival held on 12 islands in the Seto Inland Sea. The festival showcases site-specific sculptures, exhibitions, installations, and other artworks for approximately 100 days during the spring, summer, and fall seasons. During the Setouchi Triennale, additional artworks are exhibited, making it an even more exciting time to visit Naoshima Island and explore its art scene.

In conclusion, Naoshima Island has become a global center of contemporary art, attracting artists and art enthusiasts from around the world. Despite its small size, the island is home to an impressive collection of artworks by renowned contemporary artists. From sculptures to paintings, visitors can immerse themselves in the world of contemporary art while enjoying the beautiful natural surroundings. Whether it’s exploring museums, visiting art installations, or simply relaxing in a bathhouse, Naoshima Island offers a unique and unforgettable art experience. A visit to Naoshima Island is a must for anyone interested in contemporary art and culture.

Address And Maps Location:

Kagawa-gun, Kagawa-ken


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