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.The 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.
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.
Benesse House by Ando is also a contemporary museum where guests can spend the night too. Contemporary 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.
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.
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.