Sail around by the ship from Okayama Setouchi "art" island hopping
"Setouchi" is the name of the area centered on the sea called the Seto Inland Sea. The Seto Inland Sea is located in the inner sea of western Japan, sandwiched between two lands of Honshu and Shikoku and it is characterized by a gentle view with both large and small islands scattered around the ocean with less waves. The climate, which is warm and rainy, is sometimes compared to the Mediterranean region.
There are many unique islands in Setouchi; three islands called Naoshima, Teshima and Inujima are known for the landscape where contemporary art blends into the nature and life of the island. Here, the art project called "Benesse Art Site Naoshima" places contemporary art in nature and life of the original landscape of Japan. We are developing activities with the aim of making visitors touch the goodness of the area and becoming a place to think. It is also famous as the stage of the "Setouchi Triennale" held once every three years. (Photo / Benesse House Photography: Tadasu Yamamoto)
It is possible to move between each island by boat in 20 to 30 minutes. Why don’t you enjoy the trip visiting each island, while touching the calm landscapes of Setouchi?
※ On the each island, credit cards cannot be used in many facilities and also the number of ATMs are limited, so it is recommended that you prepare cash before you visit.
From Tadao Ando architecture to outdoor works many contemporary arts tell stories at "Naoshima"
It is approximately 20 minutes by ferry from Uno Port in Okayama (Honshu) to Miyanoura Port in Naoshima. There is a sightseeing information office inside the "Marine Station Naoshima" where the big roof is a landmark; there you can get useful information of the islands so please use it fully.
When arriving the island, the first thing to see in Miyanoura area near the port is "Red Pumpkin" characterized by the polka dot patterns ("Red Pumpkin" ©Yayoi Kusama, 2006 Naoshima Miyanoura Port Square Photo/ Daisuke Aochi). In the southern part of the island (Museum Area), you can enjoy the art integrated with nature at the "Benesse House Museum" where the museum and hotel are integrated, and the "Chichu Art Museum" where the majority of the building is located underground to ensure that the museum does not affect the beautiful scenery. In the eastern part of the island (Honmura Area), you can taste the island's daily lives by visiting "ANDO MUSEUM" and "Art House Project" in the village.
Three areas are connected by town buses and shuttle buses, and each can be moved in 10 to 15 minutes by a rental bicycle. Electric bicycles are recommended as there is a mountain road as well. Also when making a trip plan, please be aware that many facilities (including accommodation facilities and restaurants) are closed on Mondays (if Monday is a public holiday the next day off). (Photo/ ANDO MUSEUM Photography: Yoshihiro Asada)
Access: JR Okayama Station←approximately 50 minutes→JR Uno Station, Uno Station←3 minutes on foot→Uno Port, Uno Port←approximately 20 minutes→Miyanoura Port (Naoshima)
rice terrace fields, olive groves in art. "Teshima" where you can taste the island life
To Ieura Port in Teshima, it is approximately 30 minutes from Miyanoura Port in Naoshima, and approximately 20 minutes from Motomura Port. It is the island where agriculture and fishery are active from the ancient times and a rich life has been developed as the name Teshima (rich island) implies. Thanks to abundant spring water, rice cultivation has been done since the ancient times and it is rare for islands in Setouchi. The Karato area on the east side of the island is regenerated and rice and vegetables cultivated there are also offered at restaurants inside the island. Lemons, the other citrus fruits and strawberries are cultivated as well as olive plantation with approximately 10,000 trees on the south side of the island. There are roads going up and down, but if you borrow an electric bicycle at a rental bicycle shop, you can comfortably run through such a beautiful landscape.
Art works are also dotted throughout the island. In particular, the Teshima Art Museum located in the corner of a rice terrace in Karato area, features the work of the water droplets move like living things at the feet, with natural light coming through two openings to a large concrete space of 40x60m and a height up to 4.5m; some people visit the island just to see this. (Photo/ Teshima Art Museum Photography: Noboru Morikawa)
There is also a modern inn that refurbished old houses on the island and it is recommended to stay there for a night to experience a life of the island. For artworks, please check open days calendar of "Teshima Tourism Navi" (https://teshima-navi.jp/art/) before visit as there are some facilities closed on weekdays mainly on Tuesdays.
Access: Miyanoura Port (Naoshima) ←approximately 25 minutes→Ieura Port (Teshima), Inujima Port (Inujima) ←approximately 25 minutes→Ieura Port (Teshima)
The 100 years old former copper refinery blends with the island's nature "Inujima"
It is approximately 25 minutes by passenger ship from Ieura Port in Teshima to Inujima Port. Is is a small island where only approximately 50 people live and going around the island takes only 1 hour on foot. The symbol here is the "Inujima Seirensho Art Museum" which preserved and reproduced a copper refinery where a large chimney remains. The remnants of the factory 100 years ago and artworks in the hall that questioning modernization of Japan appeals to the viewer's heart, while conveying the negative history of pollution. (Photo/ Inujima Seirensho Art Museum Photography: Daici Ano)
The newly constructed art museum section was designed not to damage environment, such as to keep the interior of the building comfortable using only natural energy (designed by Hiroshi Sanbuichi) so its architecture is also attractive to see. In the hall, you can appreciate Yukinori Yanagi's art whose work is also held at Tate Gallery and the Museum of Modern Art, New York. The “Inujima "Art House Project"” which repaired the old houses has been developed like Naoshima, and it is also attractive that you can enjoy the feeling of the island's village itself. From Inujima Port, you can go back to Okayama (Honshu) by ferry bound for Houden Port. (Photo/ Inujima "Art House Project" F-Art House Photography: Takashi Homma)
Access: Ieura Port (Teshima) ←approximately 25 minutes→Inujima Port, Inujima Port←approximately 10 minutes→Houden Port (Okayama)
※ As the ferry from Teshima is not operating when Inujima Seirensho Art Museum is closed, so please check with the official website.
We wish to express our heartfelt sympathy to everyone who suffered from damages caused by the heavy rain, which hit the western Japan in July 2018. If you are planning to visit Okayama and Hiroshima, please check the most updated information before your journey.