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Kagawa

Naoshima’s Recommended Spots and Arts

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Naoshima in Kagawa Prefecture is located in the Seto Inland Sea.

The island is attracting attention not only from Japan but also from abroad as an island of art.

It’s a small island, but it’s a unique island with artworks and museums scattered all over the island.

In this article, we’ll introduce some of the best art spots on the island.

In addition to art, Naoshima also has other sightseeing spots where you can experience nature and history.

Here are some of the most popular sightseeing spots in the art island of Naoshima.

Please take a look at them together with recommended local gourmet foods!

What is Naoshima?

Naoshima belongs to Naoshima Town in Kagawa County, Kagawa Prefecture.

Naoshima Town is composed of the Naoshima Islands, and Naoshima is the largest island in the Naoshima Archipelago.

Most of the population of Naoshima also lives on Naoshima Island.

Access to Naoshima

There is neither an airport nor a bridge to Naoshima.

So, access to Naoshima is only by ferry.

Because Naoshima is in Kagawa Prefecture, many people cross from the port of Takamatsu by ferry, but in fact Naoshima is located just a stone’s throw from Okayama Prefecture.

So, unless you want to visit Naoshima after sightseeing or doing something on Shikoku, or if you live in Shikoku, it’s more economical and less time-consuming to take a ferry from Uno Port in Tamano City, Okayama Prefecture.

There are two main ports that serve as gateways to Naoshima.

Honmura Port on the east side of the island and Miyaura Port on the west side.

From Uno Port, there are ferries to Miyaura Port and small passenger boats to Miyaura and Honmura Ports.

The journey time for both ferry services is about 15 to 20 minutes.

Uno ⇔ Miyaura

Uno ⇔ Honmura

Check here for more information.

To get to the Port of Uno, take the Uno Line (Uno Minato Line) from JR Okayama Station, get off at Uno Station, the last stop, and walk for a few minutes.

From the Port of Takamatsu, there are ferries to the Port of Miyaura, which take about 50 to 60 minutes.

The Port of Takamatsu is a few minutes’ walk from JR Takamatsu Station.

Area of Naoshima

We have divided the island into three areas to introduce you to some of the tourist attractions on Naoshima.

The northern part of the island is mostly occupied by businesses, so it is not subject to dividing.

These areas are divided into the following areas.

Areas

East / Honmura area
West / Miyaura area
South / Tsumuura and Gotanji areas

East / Honmura area

This is an area in the eastern part of the island with Honmura at the center.

The area is the center of the island, with Honmura Port and Naoshima Town Hall located in the area.

Ando Museum

ANDO MUSEUM is a museum and archive.

It is one of the activities of Benesse Art Site Naoshima and was designed by the world-renowned architect Tadao Ando.

It is a renovated old wooden house built about 100 years ago.

The combination of wood and concrete, with cast-in-place concrete built into the interior, creates a space with a unique atmosphere.

At the ANDO Museum, you can learn more about Tadao Ando’s activities, the history of Naoshima, and a number of photographs.

In addition, books and goods related to Tadao Ando, as well as autographed products are on sale.

Information

Address: 736-2, Naoshima-cho, Kagawa-gun, Kagawa Prefecture

Phone number: 087-892-3754 (Fukutake Foundation)

Closed on Mondays (if the day falls on a holiday, the museum will be open on Mondays but closed the following day)

Business hours: 10:00 – 16:30 (last admission 16:00)

Fee : ¥510 (Free for children under 15 years old)

Official URL : ANDO MUSEUM

Minamidera Temple

Minamidera is part of Benesse Art Site Naoshima, an art project in the Honmura district called “Ie(house) Project“.

In the House Project, artists renovated vacant houses in the Honmura district and turned them into works of art.

It started in 1998, and there are currently seven houses in the project, including Minamidera .

Minamidera Temple is one of the most popular of the House Project and was designed by Tadao Ando to match the work of the American artist James Turrell.

The area around Minamidera was once the hub of Naoshima, with five temples, shrines and the ruins of a castle.

Minamidera Temple was designed with the concept of conveying that history.

Information

Address: 733 Naoshima-cho, Kagawa-gun, Kagawa Prefecture

Closed on Mondays (if the day falls on a holiday, the museum will be open on Mondays but closed the following day)

Business hours: 10:00 – 16:30 (last admission 16:15)

Fee: Ie Project common ticket (6 houses except Kinza) 1,030 yen
One-Site Ticket (to visit only one restaurant except Kinza) 410 yen
Free for children under 15 years old

Official URL : Minamidera Temple

Hachiman Shrine

Hachiman Shrine is the main shrine of Naoshima.

It sits on a hill in the Honmura district.

The torii gate at the entrance to the shrine is 3.8 meters high and the pillars are 0.5 cm in diameter.

It is made of granite from Naoshima and was built from the Momoyama period to the early Edo period.

It is one of the few cultural assets in Naoshima and was designated a tangible cultural property of Kagawa Prefecture in 1972.

The main hall of the shrine is small, but the small staircase from the main hall is made of glass, giving it an artistic island feel.

An autumn festival is held on the third Saturday and Sunday in October every year.

Twenty-eight representatives of the shrine parishioners carry portable shrines on their shoulders and parade around the area with drums.

It is commonly called “Abare Taiko”.

Information

Address: 738 Naoshima-cho, Kagawa-gun, Kagawa Prefecture

Official URL : Hachiman Shrine

West / Miyaura Area

The area around Miyanoura Port in the western part of the island.

Like the Port of Honmura, the Port of Miyanoura is the gateway to Naoshima.

The port of Miyanoura is larger than the port of Honmura, so it has a larger population and more shops, making it the largest area on the island.

Umi no Eki Naoshima

Umi no Eki no Naoshima(Sea Station Naoshima) is a tourist base facility located at Miyanoura Port, one of the sea gateways of Naoshima.

It is a huge building with a roof of approximately 3,600 square meters.

Inside, there is a ferry waiting area, a tourist information center, an event hall and a cafe.

There is also an event square and cargo handling area outside.

It’s also a park-like place to relax.

About 30 bicycles are availabel for rent for 500 yen per day, making it a good base for sightseeing.

The roof of the station is clearly visible from the ferry, making it a landmark facility that reminds visitors that you have arrived at Naoshima.

Information

Address: 2249-40, Naoshima-cho, Kagawa-gun, Kagawa Prefecture

Phone number: 087-892-2299 (NPO Naoshima Town Tourist Association)

Closed: No holidays

Business hours:Tourist Information Center 8:30 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.
Cafe: March-November 10:00-19:00, December-February 10:00-18:00
Local specialty product sales office 9:00-18:00

 Sea Station Naoshima

Outdoor Art Bbjects

Outdoor art objects are displayed in the grounds of Miyanoura Port.

Yayoi Kusama’s “Red Pumpkin”, Fujimoto Sousuke’s “Naoshima Pavilion” and José de Guimarães’ “BUNRAKU PUPPET” are three works in total.

The most famous of these works is the red pumpkin.

It is known as a representative landscape of Naoshima.

You can go inside the red pumpkin.

The red pumpkin is a symbolic presence on Naoshima, and it’s a popular tourist attraction on the island, where many tourists take pictures.

The two works of Naoshima Pavilion and BUNRAKU PUPPET are lit up at night and create a fantastic atmosphere.

It is also a must-see spot.

Information

Address: Miyaura Port, Naoshima-cho, Kagawa-gun, Kagawa

Naoshima Public Bath

Naoshima Sento is one of the activities of Benesse Art Site Naoshima.

Artist Shinro Ohtake created this work with the theme of “I Love Bath”.

You can actually take a bath in a renovated public bathhouse that is still in operation.

It is also possible to view the work without taking a bath.

The eccentric exterior with various decorations has a great impact.

The interior and the restrooms, too, are works of art.

It’s fun to relax in the hot water and watch the street art.

This bathhouse is managed by the NPO Naoshima Town Tourist Association.

Information

Address: 2252-2, Naoshima-cho, Kagawa-gun, Kagawa Prefecture

Telephone number: 087-892-2626 (NPO Naoshima Town Tourist Association)

Closed on Mondays (if the day falls on a holiday, the museum will be open on Mondays but closed the following day)

Business hours: 13:00-21:00 (last admission 20:30)

Fee: 16 years and older 650 yen
3-15 years old 300 yen
Under 3 years old Free
310 yen for residents of Naoshima Island
If you want to take a bath, you need to pay a separate fee.

Official URL: Naoshima Public Bath

South / Tsumuura and Gotanji areas

The area extends from the southern part of the island to the southeast.

The southern part of the island has few settlements and is mostly mountainous and coastal.

The Chichu Museum, Benesse House and other facilities are located here, making it the center of the art scene on Naoshima.

The Gotanji area has facilities that make the most of the nature, such as beaches and a fishing park.

The community of Sekiura in the southeastern part of the island is centered around a fishing port, and is characterized by the large number of guest houses in this area.

Chichu(underground) Museum

Chichu Museum is one of the most popular tourist facilities and art museums in Naoshima, and is part of Benesse Art Site Naoshima.

Opened in 2004, the theme of the museum is “A Place to Think about Nature and Humanity“.

It was designed by the architect Tadao Ando.

It was named Chichu Art Museum because most of the building is underground so as not to spoil the view.

Memo

Chichu means underground.

Works by Claude Monet, James Turrell and Walter de Maria are on display in the museum.

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The museum is also illuminated by natural light, creating an artistic atmosphere.

You can enjoy viewing artworks while being immersed in a fantastic atmosphere.

Information

Address: 3449-1, Naoshima-cho, Kagawa-gun, Kagawa Prefecture

Telephone number: 087-892-3755

Closed on Mondays (if the day falls on a holiday, the museum will be open on Mondays but closed the following day)

Business hours:March-September: 10:00-18:00 (last admission 17:00)
October-February 10:00 – 17:00 (last admission 16:00)

Fee : ¥2,060 (Free for children under 15 years old)

Note: Online booking is required (see Booking Page)

Official URL : Chichu Art Museum

 

Lee Ufan Museum

The Lee Ufan Museum of Art is a part of Benesse Art Site Naoshima.

The museum is a collaboration between world-renowned architect Tadao Ando and Korean artist Lee Ufan.

The building was designed by Tadao Ando.

It is a unique building with a semi-underground structure, and the paintings and sculptures of Lee Ufan from the 1970s to the present are displayed inside.

It is a must-see destination with objects on display outside as well.

Information

Address: 1390 Naoshima-cho, Kagawa-gun, Kagawa Prefecture

Phone number: 087-892-3754 (Fukutake Foundation)

Closed on Mondays (if the day falls on a holiday, the museum will be open on Mondays but closed the following day)

Business hours:March-September: 10:00-18:00 (last admission 17:30)
October-February 10:00 – 17:00 (last admission 16:30)

Fee: ¥1,030 (Free for children under 15 years old)

Official URL : Lee Ufan Museum

Benesse House Museum

Benesse House Museum is one of the facilities of Benesse Art Site Naoshima.

Opened in 1992, it is unique in that it is an art museum and hotel all in one.

Designed by Tadao Ando, the museum has a unique structure based on the concept of “Symbiosis of Nature, Architecture and Art”.

Site-specific works by a variety of artists are on display inside the hotel.

There are also unique works of art outside, so take a look at them!

Information

Address: 3419 Naoshima-cho, Kagawa-gun, Kagawa Prefecture

Phone number: 087-892-3223

Closed: Open all year round

Business hours: 8:00-21:00 (last admission 20:00)

Fee: 1,030 yen (free for children under 15 years old)
Free of charge for those staying at Benesse House

Official URL : Benesse House Museum

Gotanji Beach

Kotanji Beach is Naoshima’s representative beach and beachhead.

It is at the southern end of the island, just south of Benesse House.

Caution

Kotodanji Beach is not a fully maintained beach.
There are no lifeguards or rescuers stationed at the beach, so please be careful of accidents and problems while swimming.

The yellow pumpkin object at the end of the jetty overhanging the sea is the work of Yayoi Kusama.

Along with the red pumpkin object at Miyanoura Port, it is one of Naoshima’s most iconic works of art.

Incidentally, unlike the red pumpkin, you can’t enter it.

Information

Address: Kotodanji, Naoshima-cho, Kagawa-gun, Kagawa Prefecture

Telephone number: 087-892-2020(Naoshima Town Hall, Community Development and Tourism Division

Gotanji Beach

Naoshima Furusato Umi-no-ie Tsutsuji-so

Naoshima Furusato Umi no Ie Tsutsuji-so is an accommodation facility where you can enjoy dining and shopping.

Opened in 1992, it was designed by architect Kazuhiro Ishii.

It was named after the island azalea(tsutsuji), the town flower of Naoshima.

There are three types of rooms: a Japanese cottage, a Mongolian tent pao, and a trailer house, all of which are unique in their construction.

There are no bathrooms or toilets in the rooms, so it’s a bit inconvenient, but you can enjoy nature while enjoying an extraordinary experience.

Why not stay at Tsutsuji-so and create a unique Naoshima memory?

Information

Address: 352-1, Naoshima-cho, Kagawa-gun, Kagawa Prefecture

Telephone number: 087-892-2838

Official URL : Naoshima Island Furusato Umi no Ie

Naoshima Fishing Park

Naoshima Fishing Park is as the name suggests, you can enjoy fishing.

Fishing piers, fishing rafts and fishing rafts are all available for fishing.

It is also possible to walk around the park without fishing.

The highlight of Naoshima Fishing Park, besides fishing, is the “Sea bream sashimi set meal”.

It is served in the park for a limited time only.

The Sea bream is caught from a live fish in the park, so it is very fresh.

Information

Address: 340 Naoshima-cho, Kagawa-gun, Kagawa-gun, Kagawa

Phone number: 087-892-2891 (Naoshima Fishing Park Management Office)

Regular holiday: Tuesdays (open if the day falls on a national holiday, but closed the following day)
December 16 – January 14 of the following year

Business hours: 7:00-17:00 (last admission 16:00)

Fee: One day use: 1,500 yen for ages 1 and over, 600 yen for ages 6-16
Half day use: 1,000 yen for ages 16 and older, 400 yen for ages 6-16
Admission only: 100 yen for ages 16 and older, 50 yen for ages 6-16
You’ll need to pay for the rod rental and bait, etc.

Naoshima Fishing Park

Recommended Gourmet Spots in Naoshima

Eastern Honmura Area

Mai-mai

Mai Mai is located near the town bus stop in front of Nokyo mae bus stop.

The signature menu item is the “Naoshima Burger”, a local burger from Naoshima.

The main ingredient in the Naoshima burger is fried hamachi (hamachi is also a prefectural fish in Kagawa).

The burger is seasoned with plenty of tartar sauce, making it a very hearty burger.

It also features a wide variety of toppings.

The restaurant also has a terrace, so if it’s a nice day, it’s a great place to sit outside and enjoy your hamburger.

Information

Address: 750 Naoshima-cho, Kagawa-gun, Kagawa-gun, Kagawa

Telephonenumber: 090-8286-7039

Closed on Mondays and other days of irregularity

Businesshours: 10:00-17:00, 18:30-21:00 (prior consultation required)

Mai-mai

Nakaoku

Nakaoku is a café in an old house in Nakaoku village, a little bit uptown from the main village.

Its signature dishes are omelet curry rice.

The omelet is especially popular for its fluffy eggs.

The curry has a special roux with coconut.

Baked cheesecake and chiffon cake for dessert are also delicious, so we recommend stopping by for a break.

Information

Address: 1167 Naoshima-cho, Kagawa-gun, Kagawa-gun, Kagawa

Telephone number: 087-892-3887

Closed on Tuesdays and other days of irregularity

Business hours: 11:30 – 15:00, 17:30 – 21:00 (L.O. 20:45)

Nakaoku

West Miyaura Area

Cin.na.mon

Cinnamon is a cafe in Miyaura village.

Curry and rice is very popular, and there are several kinds of curry dishes available.

You can choose from a variety of dishes from the set menu.

In the evenings, it becomes an izakaya (Japanese style pub).

They have a wide selection of alcoholic beverages on the menu, including beer that is only available on Naoshima.

There are also many other snacks and a la carte dishes.

You can enjoy curry for lunch and alcohol in the evening.

Information

Address: 2310-31, Naoshima-cho, Kagawa-gun, Kagawa Prefecture

Telephone number: 087-840-8133

Closed: Monday

Business hours: 11:00-15:00, 17:00-22:00

Cin.na.mon

Kinosaki Udon

Kinosaki Udon is located to the southeast of Miyanoura Port.

Although Kagawa Prefecture is famous for its udon noodles, there are few udon shops on the remote island of Naoshima, and Kinosaki Udon is one of the few shops near the port.

The word “Udon(うどん)” is clearly written on the outside of the restaurant, so it’s easy to find.

Kinosaki Udon is a self-service udon shop, and there are many types of tempura in the shop.

There are many types of tempura inside the shop.

The udon dipping sauce with a strong taste of dashi.

The noodles are firm.

Information

Address: 2071-4, Naoshima-cho, Kagawa-gun, Kagawa Prefecture

Telephone number: 080-8636-7903

Closed: Thursday (open if the day is a holiday)

Business hours: Weekdays 11:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.
Weekends and Holidays 11:00 – 15:00

Kinosaki Udon

South / Tsumuura and Gotanji Area

Benesse House Terrace Restaurant Umi no Hoshi

Benesse House Terrace Restaurant Umi no Hoshi is a French restaurant located in Benesse House.

It is supervised by renowned French chef Ken Yoshino.

This restaurant is popular for its course meals, using local ingredients from Naoshima and the surrounding areas such as Kagawa and Okayama prefectures.

Guests can also enjoy a variety of breakfast buffet dishes.

This is a wonderful restaurant with a view of the Seto Inland Sea.

Information

Address: 3419 Naoshima-cho, Kagawa-gun, Kagawa Prefecture

Telephone number: 087-892-2030

Closed: No holidays

Business hours: 7:30 – 9:30, 18:00 – (L.O. 21:00)

Umi no hoshi

Tsutsuji-so

Naoshima Furusato Umi no Ie Tsutsuji-so is an accommodation facility, but you can also enjoy eating and drinking.

The menu includes keema curry, hashed meat with rice, pizza and beef bowl.

Keema curry is very popular because of its moderate spice.

After playing at the Gotanji Beach in front of the beach, if you are hungry, you can have a meal here instead of the beach house.

It’s a self-service restaurant with a friendly and relaxed atmosphere.

Information

Address: 352-1, Naoshima-cho, Kagawa-gun, Kagawa Prefecture

Telephone number: 087-892-2838

Closed: Monday (if the day falls on a holiday, we will be open on Monday but closed the following day)

Business Hours: 11:00-15:00

Tsutsuji-so

Model Course in Naoshima

A Course in Art

Sea Station Naoshima
Outdoor Art Objects
Naoshima Public Bath
Chichu Art Museum
Lee Ufan Museum
Benesse House Museum
Andor Museum
Minamiji temple

Course to enjoy nature and history

Sea Station Naoshima
Kotodanji Beach
Naoshima Island Furusato Umi no Ie Tsutsuji-so
Naoshima Fishing Park
Hachiman Shrine

Transportation in Naoshima

Car

If you want to get around the island, it’s convenient to use your own car, but be aware that there are many narrow streets and parking spaces are limited.

During the busy tourist season, it can be difficult just to get around the island.

It’s a good idea to take Prefectural Road 256, which circles the main area of the island, as a guide.

Bus

There is also a town bus service on Naoshima.

There are bus stops at major points in the area, but they are few and far between, so check the bus service before you go sightseeing.

If you’re in the middle of a busy season, you may not be able to get on a bus because it’s full.

Bicycle

It’s a good idea to rent a bicycle to enjoy nature and relax.

However, please note that it can be difficult in rainy weather and in winter, and that the number of bicycles you can rent is limited.

Walk

In addition, Naoshima is a small island of about 8 square kilometers in area, so you can also get around on foot.

As mentioned above, please be careful of the sloping roads.

The distance between Honmura Port in the east, Miyaura Port in the west, and Benesse House in the south is about 2 km each.

Of course, it takes longer to get there than by car or bicycle, so please plan your visit as much as possible.

Check from here for more information.

Finally

The following are some of Naoshima’s recommended tourist attractions.

Naoshima is a small island, but it’s full of unique artworks.

Seto Inland Sea is also rich in nature.

The combination of art and nature on Naoshima is a must-visit destination.

MAP

References

Naoshima (Japan Guid)

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