Naoshima, an island dotted with stunning art works and outstanding architecture, is nestled  in the Seto Inland Sea of southern Japan. A haven for art lovers, Naoshima is known for its modern art museums and sculptures too.ando_museum_naoshimaThe tiny island’s harmony of culture and nature attract Japanese as well as international tourists. Part of Kagawa Prefecture, the island with its Mediterranean atmosphere, sandy beaches and sunny weather, combined with a laid back, rural feel is one of the most relaxing getaways.Yayoi_Kusama_Yellow_Pumpkin_sculpture_naoshima

Naoshima, which is also known as Ando Island, has been transformed into one of the most remarkable art and architecture and serves as a canvas for Benesse Corporation that is renowned for art museums, installations and sculptures. The island’s most talked-about museums, including the Chichu Art Museum, Lee Ufan Museum and other Benesse House buildings, have been designed by the well known Pritzker Prize-winning Japanese architect Ando Tadao.Chichu_Art_Museum

Located on one of the highest points of the island, the Chichu Art Museum (which translates to “in the earth”) is home to a number of site-specific installations by James Turrell, Walter De Maria, and work of Claude Monet which also includes his Water Lily paintings. Built almost entirely underground, the museum balances the contradictory qualities of being both non-monumental but highly architectural.Chichu_Art_Museum_monet_Water_Lily

Benesse House by Ando is also a contemporary museum where guests can spend the night too. bennessehouse_3Contemporary art is displayed not only within the Museum galleries, but also in all parts of the buildings and surrounding area. And another interesting fact is that are no hotels on the island apart from the Benesse House.bennessehouse_2

Most of Ando’s structures on the island are designed to blend into the landscape. Some are also distinctively built into the earth and opening up to the sky.teshima_museum

Other art hubs include Naoshima Fukutake Art Museum, with an outdoor sculpture garden, and the James Bond museum, inspired by the island’s use as one of the settings for the 2002 Bond novel The Man with the Red Tattoo by Raymond Benson.

Benesse House