Japan ‘Naoshima modern art tour’, 6 days
This tour is specially designed for travellers with an eye for art and design with a focus on contemporary side. In the Japan Seto Inland Sea there are several small islands, dotted with modern art. It is a must-see sport of you want to experience the beauty and culture of Japan’s Islands and enjoy lots of modern art. Once every three years the Benesse Corporation holds an international arts festival and it has realised many modern art muser and art projects. Once every three years the island serves as a venue of the Setouchi Triennale modern art festival. This Japan Naoshima modern art add-on tour allows you to enjoy lots of modern art, while visiting Japan’s Islands Shodoshima, Naoshima, Teshima and Inujima.
This Japan Naoshima modern art tour is an add-tour on one of Japan’s sample itineraries or any other tailor-made Japan tour. It’s not possible to book this add-tour separately.
Naoshima modern art tour Japan, 6 days
Day 1 Art tour in the Japan inland sea
From Okayama you can take the bus and ferry to the island of Inujima. Due to its small size, the peaceful island of Inujima can easily be explored on foot. Definitely visit the Inujima Seirensho Art Museum. In 2008, the refinery ruins of the former refinery were converted into this museum by tastefully incorporating an art gallery into the ruins. The ruins with their exposed brick walls, overgrown power plant and crumbling smokestacks can now be explored by tourists. Scattered across the narrow lanes of the village, you will also find art projects which were built for past art festivals and have become permanent attractions on the island.
Afterwards, take a ferry to Shodoshima. There are two towns on the island: Tonoshō and Shōdoshima. It is home to the Dobuchi Strait, the world’s narrowest strait, 9.93 meters at its narrowest. Its inhabitants are very proud of being mentioned in the Guinness Book of Records. This narrow section has a series of tubular steel arches over it and is illuminated at night. You spend the night on Shodoshima in a hotel or a traditional minshuku.
Day 2 Rock temples and soya sauce on Shodoshima
Shodoshima is the second largest island in the Seto Inland Sea. The Kankakei Gorge is a breathtaking ravine at the centre of Shodoshima Island, ranked as one of Japan’s three most beautiful gorges. A ropeway runs the length of the gorge, which makes visiting the gorge very easy. In the afternoon, you visit Teshima. The main attraction on Teshima is the Teshima Art Museum, designed by Ryue Nishizawa. In this museum you experience the impressive Matrix by Rei Naito, which aims at immersing calmly in this space and feeling united with nature.The simple concrete structure stimulates its visitors’ senses with the play of water drops on a concrete surface. At the end of the day, take the ferry back to Shodoshima.
Day 3 Takamatsu
Take another ferry from Shodoshima to Takamatsu, home of the art of famous artists such as Tekeshi Kawashima and Isamu
Noguchi, as well as the architects Kenzo Tange and Tadao Ando. The Takamatsu Art Museum is located in a scenic beauty spot with rich cultural and historical environment.Three major collections have been accumulated systematically: “Contemporary Art in Postwar Japan”, “World Art in the 20th Century and Beyond”, and “Arts & Crafts of Kagawa”. This overall collection of a total of approximately 1600 works is one of Japan’s leading collections of contemporary Japanese art both in terms of quantity and quality.
Day 4 Spend the night in a museum on Naoshima
Today you travel back to Naoshima where you can visit the Benesse House, both a modern art museum and resort hotel on the southern coast of Naoshima. This museum displays work created by many different artists from both Japan and abroad. Overnight guests staying at the Museum can enjoy 24 hour access to the museum. In addition to the art displayed in the museum and in the guest rooms, there are nearly twenty art pieces located on the lawns and beaches around the House, including the famous pumpkin of Kusama Yayoi.
From the Benesse house, there is a shuttle bus to the Chichu Art Museum, unique rather small modern art museum, displaying works from Claude Monet, James Turrell and Walter De Maria. The museum building, in itself a work of art, 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. Enjoy an excellent French or Japanese dinner, coupled with breathtaking views of the island, the architecture and the Inland Sea from your bedroom window.
Day 5 Naoshima
Today you can visit some more art objects. Honmura, a small port town on Naoshima’s eastern coast, is home to the Art House Project, a collection of abandoned houses, workshops, a temple – most of them are unassuming from the street – that have been converted into art installations and venues for contemporary art by artists from Japan an abroad.
Not part of the Art House Project, but also found among the traditional buildings of Honmura Town, is the Ando Museum, designed by the man it is named after, Ando Tadao, one of Japan’s most famous architects who also designed most other museums on Naoshima. The building looks like a regular residence from the outside, blending in perfectly into the town’s neighbourhood, whereas the inside, however, combines traditional interior design with Ando’s signature use of concrete, creating a rather intriguing atmosphere.
Day 6 Naoshima
Finally you can pay a visit to I Love Yu. I Love Yu is a combination of art installation and public bath house (sento).The name of the bath house is a play on words – the Japanese character for hot water is read as ‘yu’ .The facility was designed by Japanese artist Otake Shinro. The art is ever present throughout the bath house with paintings, posters, video displays, etc., decorating the changing rooms, entryway and even the toilets. Today is the last day of this add-on tour and your last day in Naoshima. You continue your journey and head on by taking a ferry to Ueno.
Japan Naoshima modern art tour, 6 days
The price for this ‘6 days modern art’ add-on tour is 570,-€ per person based on double occupancy in a 3 star hotel.
This add-on tour can also be booked in 4 star hotels and with stay at the Benesse House ay 1.160,-€ per person based on double occupancy.
Price may vary depending on the day of the week (weekend) or travel season.
– 5 nights’ accommodation, including breakfast
– 5 nights’ accommodation in Western hotels
– 2x dinner in a 3 star hotel
– 2x extra dinners at the Benesse House
– Instructions and personalised info pack
What’s not included:
– Local transport by bus
– Local transport by ferry (about €30,-p.p. for all ferries)
– Any entrance fees and/or guide services
– All other meals
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