The Naoshima Tour / なおしまツアー

Explore the original “art island” with a local guide. From Naoshima’s monumental museums to the Art Houses and other art sites nestled in the picturesque villages, you’ll get an insider’s perspective on one of the most peculiar and interesting corners of Japan.

The two-day Naoshima Tour is scheduled on weekends; participants can register for one or both days.

Day One
Visit Chichu Art Museum to learn about the complex interaction of natural light and artwork in this spectacular space. After breaking for lunch in Honmura, discover Hiroshi Sambuichi's concept of "moving materials" as you visit examples of his architecture, then explore the Art House Project.

Day Two
Check out Yayoi Kusama’s famous yellow pumpkin, then tour the Benesse House Museum and Lee Ufan Museum. After lunch in Miyanoura, learn about the art and architecture at the port, then see the latest experimental project at Miyanoura Gallery 6.

Depending on your guide and the season, the tour may include additional activities, like a winter visit to a nori factory, or a stop at a local outdoor craft market.

Please see the calendar for scheduled tours. To reserve a spot, or to request a private tour for your group (3 adults minimum for custom tours; dates subject to availability), please contact us.

Price: ¥5,000 per day, half price for children. Museum admission is an additional ¥2,100 per day for adults. Price includes bicycle rental—power-assisted or standard.
Languages available: Japanese, English, Mandarin Chinese
Note: Portions of this tour are conducted by bicycle. Participants who cannot or prefer not to ride a bicycle can travel by bus—please arrange this with us ahead of time.

Study Tours

Art Island Center study tours are topic-focused group tours of Naoshima and neighboring islands. The immersive, three-day tours are intended for international visitors seeking a deep-dive experience on the islands, learning about the history of Setouchi contemporary art, “art island” landscapes, local creativity and identity, and community revitalization and sustainability. How did things get to where they are today? What is the current situation on the islands? What might we expect in the future? And how could this relate to other contexts around the world?

This program is open to all, but particularly targeted toward educators, academics, policymakers, public and nonprofit employees and officials, as well as artists and creative professionals. Tours take place on Naoshima as well as either Inujima or Teshima. Visits to major and minor art sites and other island landmarks serve to weave together a complex and illuminating portrait of the islands. On the first night, the group enjoys a communal dinner at Naoshima Hall. On the second night, the group dines together at a local restaurant. Both nights allow for deep conversation about the day’s activities, where participants add their own expertise and perspectives to the conversation.

Study tours are scheduled for open registration during busy periods—please see the calendar. If your group would like to schedule a private study tour outside of these dates, please contact us. Itineraries for open-registration tours are posted in advance, while itineraries for privately-scheduled tours are developed according to the interests of the group.

Price: Varies
Languages available: English, Mandarin Chinese