Layer upon layer of contemporary art experiences await you in Western Japan. On the islands of Naoshima, Tejima and Inujima, art installations, innovative architecture and nature blend in remarkably imaginative ways. The result is that this once sleepy island has emerged as an unexpected destination for globetrotting art lovers. Create memories that you and your loved ones will cherish long after the journey ends.
On Naoshima Island, museums, art installations, cutting-edge architecture, and nature blend in astoundingly novel ways. The result is that this once sleepy island has emerged as an unlikely destination for globetrotting art lovers. Visit the Benesse House Museum, the Chichu Art Museum, and the Lee Ufan Museum to discover Naoshima’s intriguing harmony of culture and nature. Benesse House is part hotel and part museum designed by architect Tadao Ando, offering guests the rare opportunity to stay among beautiful works of art.
Explore further the fusion of contemporary art and nature at the Naoshima Art House Project. Travel onwards by a chartered boat to Teshima Island and Inujima Island, remote islands replete with contemporary art sites. Return to Naoshima for a fabulous view of the tranquil, island-studded Seto Inland Sea in the late afternoon.
Transfer by a chartered boat from Naoshima to Takamatsu City, the capital of Kagawa Prefecture. Dating from the 16th century, Ritsurin Koen (literally‘ Chestnut Grove Garden’) was a walking garden for the enjoyment of a local feudal lord. Designated a special place of scenic beauty, it winds around a series of ponds, tearooms, bridges, over 185 acres of land. After a relaxing saunter in the garden, proceed to the dramatic Iya Valley. Nothing will get your adrenaline going faster than crossing the Kazura Bridge, a suspension bridge made of mountain vines. Take in dramatic valley views. Overnight at a select hotel.
Travel further to the town of Tobe, home to Tobe earthenware. It is of blue and white sometsuke (underglaze) type. Tobe flourished under the guidance of Kato Yasutoki, the 9th lord of the Ozu Domain in the 18th century. Try your hand at brush painting at a private kiln. Travel onward to magnificent Matsuyama Castle. Originally built in 1603, the castle is the symbol of Matsuyama and sits atop Mt. Matsuyama in the city center, affording glorious views of the city and the Seto Inland Sea. With a history going back 1,000 years, Dogo Onsen is famous for its clear and odorless healing waters. A big draw for tourists is the Dogo Onsen public bath, one of inspirations for
the bathhouse in Hayao Miyazaki’s film Spirited Away. It is designated an important cultural property. Overnight at a select hotel.
After a leisurely breakfast, fly into Kansai International Airport from Matsuyama Airport.