Art Islands Travel Guide

Naoshima

Naoshima is a small island in the eastern Seto Inland Sea, halfway between Hiroshima and Osaka. It has been the site of major art-related development since the early 1990s and now hosts several museums by Pritzker Prize-winning architect Tadao Ando. The island’s art collection includes major work by such household names as Claude Monet, James Turrell, Yayoi Kusama, Hiroshi Sugimoto. Other highlights include artworks taking the forms of a functioning bathhouse and a Shinto shrine, blurring the boundary between art and life. Its troupe of all-women bunraku puppeteers is unique to Naoshima.

Despite its small size, Naoshima has a surprisingly varied mix of cafes and restaurants, featuring local fish burgers, artisan pizza and gelato, as well as classic Japanese fare like sushi and okonomiyaki. Visitors who spend the night on Naoshima can choose from luxury rooms on the museum grounds, traditional guesthouses, or even Mongolian yurts on the island’s southern shore.

While the north side of the island holds a sprawling factory campus, the southern end is lush and green, with nice beaches and a few hidden nature trails. The island's ports also offer direct connections to two neighboring "art islands," Teshima and Inujima.

What to do

The main attraction on Naoshima is its collection of art museums. These are the highlights.

Chichu Art Museum

“Chichu” means “underground,” and the museum lives up to its name: cavernous concrete spaces cut into the mountain, with galleries devoted to Claude Monet, James Turrell, and Walter De Maria. It is an utterly unique environment, windowless save for large openings to the sky above. The museum is mostly lit by nature, so your experience changes based on the season. For example, in the Monet room, a series of the artist's water lily paintings representing different weather-moods (gloomy overcast, cheerful springtime) are further augmented by the indirect daylight filtering down from above. [Official website]

Art House Project

A former dentist’s office, a former wealthy salt merchant’s home, the site of a former temple—once abandoned, now reborn as artwork. Art House Project is a collection of seven traditional houses and religious sites in Honmura that were renovated to marvelous effect by renowned artists and architects. A glass staircase at Go’o shrine descends to a secret cavern underground; a waterfall mural in a former storeroom reflects magically in the lacquered floor; and a James Turrell artwork at Minamidera emerges from the darkness as your eyes slowly adjust. [Official website]

Benesse House Museum

The museum that started it all when it opened in 1992, Benesse House Museum displays a small but dazzling collection of artworks by renowned international and Japanese artists. Permanent features include 100 Live and Die (1984), a monolithic Bruce Naumann neon installation centered within a circular, two-story atrium, as well as several large, site-specific works by Yukinori Yanagi, Richard Long, and Hiroshi Sugimoto. Other artwork in rotation includes paintings by David Hockney, Andy Warhol, and Gerhard Richter. [Official website]

Valley Gallery

Naoshima’s newest gallery opened in 2022. It’s a small Tadao Ando-designed space that is open to the elements, nestled in a valley behind a small pond. Currently its angled walls host Yayoi Kusama’s infamous Narcissus Garden artwork, originally conceived in the 1960s. Hundreds of polished steel spheres not only fill the gallery but spill out onto the surrounding grounds and float whimsically in the pond. Also on display is Tsuyoshi Ozawa’s Slag Buddhas 88 installation, featuring holy figures cast from industrial waste. Admission is complimentary for Benesse House Museum visitors. [Official website]

Miyanoura Gallery 6

Formerly the island’s lone pachinko parlor, the vacant space was converted into a gallery by architect Taira Nishizawa, and since 2019 has been the site of an ongoing project by artist Motoyuki Shitamichi. Shitamichi’s project, titled Setouchi “     “ Archive, is a living laboratory and a unique example of socially engaged art on Naoshima. Rotating exhibits document aspects of the region’s history, with past iterations focusing on tourism, industry, and local photographers. [Official website]

Naoshima Bath “I♥湯"

Take a bath with the locals in one of the weirdest and most-cherished pieces of art in the region. The creation of artist Shinro Ohtake, I♥湯 is a public bathhouse near the island’s main port in Miyanoura. The title for the facility is pronounced “I Love Yu,” with yu the Japanese word for hot water. The building’s exterior is a riot of clashing elements, including entire chunks of other buildings that were brought in and stuck on top of the existing structure. Inside, a large elephant statue peers at bathers beneath a high ceiling painted by the artist. Be sure to brush up on bathing etiquette before you go. [Official website]

Other art sites

Other art sites on Naoshima include the Lee Ufan Museum, the Ando Museum, the Hiroshi Sugimoto Gallery, and outdoor artworks across the island including Yayoi Kusama’s red and yellow pumpkins as well as Naoshima Pavilion by architect Sou Fujimoto.

Other islands

Thanks in large part to the Setouchi Triennale, there are now twelve islands in the eastern Seto Inland Sea featuring artwork. Here are four that you can easily reach from Naoshima, including two (Teshima and Inujima) that have museums accessible most of the year, and two others (Ogijima and Megijima) that have less art on non-Triennale years but are worth a visit regardless.


Please also check out David Billa's blog Setouchi Explorer for in-depth articles about all of the Setouchi "art islands."

Inujima

A tiny island off mainland Okayama Prefecture, Inujima’s Seirensho Art Museum is the spectacular result of a collaboration between artist Yukinori Yanagi and architect Hiroshi Sambuichi. The island also features “art houses” with rotating installations by other significant artists like Olafur Eliasson and Kohei Nawa. Details

Teshima

The Teshima Art Museum is another artist-architect collaboration (Rei Naito and Ryue Nishizawa), a breathtaking exercise in restrained simplicity set against seemingly-impossible engineering. Other art sites on the island include an impressive installation by Shinro Ohtake, a museum dedicated to the artist-designer Tadanori Yokoo, and a theater operated by the experimental duo Usaginingen. At Shima Kitchen, diners join an ongoing relational art project that brings together tourists, elderly residents, and young volunteers. Details

Megijima

The first in a pair of islands off Takamatsu Port that host a collection of intimate art installations, including outdoor works and converted, previously-empty homes. Megijima’s sites of interest include a theater built in an old warehouse by artist Yoichiro Yoda. Details

Photo by Meng Qu.

Ogijima

Next to Megijima, Ogijima’s small village, perched on the side of a mountain, includes a winding labyrinth of sometimes nearly-vertical streets. Ogijima Library, a community-built project, is a meeting place for creative minds from around the region. A growing collection of creative small businesses by recent migrants gives the little island an exciting atmosphere. Details

When to visit

Summer is the busiest season on the islands, with lots to see and do. If you don’t mind the heat and the occasional crowd, it’s a fun time to explore the sights, swim at the beach, or just hang out by Yayoi Kusama's Red Pumpkin and watch the sun set behind the Great Seto Bridge. Summer visitors should book accommodation as early as possible, as rooms regularly sell out.

Spring is beautiful on the islands, particularly if you come when the cherry blossoms and mountain azaleas are blooming. Except for the national Golden Week holiday, it’s often less busy than the summer.

In the fall, when the weather cools, you might be lucky enough to catch the autumn festival on Naoshima, which occurs throughout October and features taiko-drumming boys carried around on wooden palanquins.

Unlike many of the other art islands, Naoshima’s museums are open year-round, except for a short maintenance period in the winter. This is also true for the main attractions on Teshima and Inujima, though maintenance periods vary by island. This means that winter can be a great time to check out popular sites like Chichu Art Museum; on weekdays you might even have the place virtually to yourself.

Before committing to an itinerary, be sure to check the official Benesse calendar to see what’s open.

Transportation

Getting here and getting around: here's all you need to know* about the area's ports, ferries, and buses.

* While we do our best to keep this information up-to-date, you should double-check with applicable transit providers whenever possible. Also, during the Setouchi Triennale, we recommend using their official ferry guide.

Naoshima Ferries

For complete information, visit the Shikoku Kisen website.

Uno Port ➔ Miyanoura Port (Naoshima)


Ferry
(approx. 20 minutes)
Passenger Fare: ¥300 (Round-trip ¥570)
Child Fare: ¥250

Passengers - Admitted
Bicycles - Admitted
Cars & Trucks - Admitted

Departure Arrival
06:10 06:30
   
06:30 06:50
07:20 07:40
08:22 08:42
09:22 09:42
   
11:00 11:20
12:15 12:35
   
14:25 14:45
15:30 15:50
   
16:30 16:50
17:05 17:25
18:53 19:13
20:25 20:45
   
   

Passenger Boat
(approx. 15 minutes)
Passenger Fare: ¥300* (Round-trip ¥570)
Child Fare: ¥250

Passengers - Admitted
Bicycles - Not admitted
Cars & Trucks - Not admitted

Departure Arrival
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
13:30 13:45
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
22:30 22:45
◎00:35 00:50

* Times marked with the double circle (◎) indicate late night boats. Late night fare applies.

Miyanoura Port (Naoshima) ➔ Uno Port


Ferry
(approx. 20 minutes)
Passenger Fare: ¥300 (Round-trip ¥570)
Child Fare: ¥250

Passengers - Admitted
Bicycles - Admitted
Cars & Trucks - Admitted

Departure Arrival
06:10 06:30
   
06:30 06:50
07:20 07:40
08:22 08:42
09:22 09:42
   
11:00 11:20
12:15 12:35
   
14:25 14:45
15:30 15:50
   
16:30 16:50
17:05 17:25
18:53 19:13
20:25 20:45
   
   

Passenger Boat
(approx. 15 minutes)
Passenger Fare: ¥300* (Round-trip ¥570)
Child Fare: ¥250

Passengers - Admitted
Bicycles - Not admitted
Cars & Trucks - Not admitted

Departure Arrival
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
13:30 13:45
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
22:30 22:45
◎00:35 00:50

* Times marked with the double circle (◎) indicate late night boats. Late night fare applies.

Uno Port ➔ Honmura Port (Naoshima)


Passenger Boat
(approx. 20 minutes)
Passenger Fare: ¥300 (Round-trip ¥570)
Child Fare: ¥250

Passengers - Admitted
Bicycles - Not admitted
Cars & Trucks - Not admitted

Departure Arrival
07:25 07:45
11:55 12:15
16:50 17:10
17:45 18:05
18:35 18:55

Honmura Port (Naoshima) ➔ Uno Port


Passenger Boat
(approx. 20 minutes)
Passenger Fare: ¥300 (Round-trip ¥570)
Child Fare: ¥250

Passengers - Admitted
Bicycles - Not admitted
Cars & Trucks - Not admitted

Departure Arrival
06:45 07:05
07:55 08:15
13:00 13:20
17:20 17:40
18:10 18:30

Takamatsu Port ➔ Miyanoura Port (Naoshima)


Ferry
(approx. 50 minutes)
Passenger Fare: ¥520 (Round-trip ¥990)
Child Fare: ¥260

Passengers - Admitted
Bicycles - Admitted
Cars & Trucks - Admitted

Departure Arrival
   
08:12 09:02
   
10:14 11:04
12:40 13:30
15:35 16:25
18:05 18:55
   

High-Speed Boat
(approx. 30 minutes)
Passenger Fare: ¥1,220
Child Fare: ¥610

Passengers - Admitted
Bicycles - Not admitted
Cars & Trucks - Not admitted

Departure Arrival
07:20 07:50
   
09:20 09:50
   
   
   
   
20:30 21:00

Miyanoura Port (Naoshima) ➔ Takamatsu Port


Ferry
(approx. 50 minutes)
Passenger Fare: ¥520 (Round-trip ¥990)
Child Fare: ¥260

Passengers - Admitted
Bicycles - Admitted
Cars & Trucks - Admitted

Departure Arrival
   
07:00 08:00
   
09:07 10:07
11:30 12:30
14:20 15:20
17:00 18:00
   

High-Speed Boat
(approx. 30 minutes)
Passenger Fare: ¥1,220
Child Fare: ¥610

Passengers - Admitted
Bicycles - Not admitted
Cars & Trucks - Not admitted

Departure Arrival
06:45 07:15
   
08:40 09:10
   
   
   
   
19:45 20:15

Miyanoura Port (Naoshima) ➔ Ieura Port (Teshima) ➔ Inujima


Passenger Boat

Fares (One-way)
Naoshima ⇋ Teshima: ¥630 (Child Fare: ¥320)
Teshima ⇋ Inujima: ¥1,250 (Child Fare: ¥630)
Naoshima ⇋ Inujima: ¥1,880 (Child Fare: ¥940)

Passengers - Admitted
Bicycles - Not admitted
Cars & Trucks - Not admitted

Departure Arr. ・ Dpt. Arrival
09:20 09:42・09:50 10:15
12:10 12:32・12:40 13:05
14:50 15:12・15:17 15:42

From March 1 to November 30 each year, high speed boat services operate on everyday (except Tuesdays).
From December 1 to the end of February each year, high speed boat services operate on Mondays, Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays, and national holidays.
The boat runs in accordance with the Teshima Art Museum and Inujima Seirensho Art Museum calendar.
If a museum is closed, the boat will not stop at that island. If both museums are closed, the boat will not run.
When the schedule of either museum is changed, the boat’s timetable will reflect accordingly.
If you purchase a ticket between Naoshima and Inujima, you cannot disembark at Teshima and re-board later on the same ticket.

Inujima ➔ Ieura Port (Teshima) ➔ Miyanoura Port (Naoshima)


Passenger Boat

Fares (One-way)
Naoshima ⇋ Teshima: ¥630 (Child Fare: ¥320)
Teshima ⇋ Inujima: ¥1,250 (Child Fare: ¥630)
Naoshima ⇋ Inujima: ¥1,880 (Child Fare: ¥940)

Passengers - Admitted
Bicycles - Not admitted
Cars & Trucks - Not admitted

Departure Arr. ・ Dpt. Arrival
10:25 10:50・10:55 11:17
13:10 13:35・13:40 14:02
15:47 16:12・16:17 16:39

From March 1 to November 30 each year, high speed boat services operate on everyday (except Tuesdays).
From December 1 to the end of February each year, high speed boat services operate on Mondays, Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays, and national holidays.
The boat runs in accordance with the Teshima Art Museum and Inujima Seirensho Art Museum calendar.
If a museum is closed, the boat will not stop at that island. If both museums are closed, the boat will not run.
When the schedule of either museum is changed, the boat’s timetable will reflect accordingly.
If you purchase a ticket between Naoshima and Inujima, you cannot disembark at Teshima and re-board later on the same ticket.

Teshima Ferries

For complete information, visit the Teshima Tourism Association website.

Uno Port ➔ Ieura Port (Teshima) ➔ Karato Port (Teshima) ➔ Tonosho Port (Shodoshima)


Ferry
Passenger Fares (One-way)
Uno ⇋ Shodoshima ¥1,260 (Child ¥630)
Uno ⇋ Teshima (Karato) ¥1,050 (Child ¥530)
Uno ⇋ Teshima (Ieura) ¥780 (Child ¥390)
Teshima (Ieura) ⇋ Shodoshima ¥780 (Child ¥390)
Teshima (Karato) ⇋ Shodoshima ¥490 (Child ¥250)
Teshima (Ieura) ⇋ Teshima (Karato) ¥300 (Child ¥150)

Passengers - Admitted
Bicycles - Admitted
Cars & Trucks - Admitted

Uno Dpt. Ieura Dpt. Karato Dpt. Tonosho Arr.
       
06:45 07:25 07:45 08:14
       
11:10* 11:50 12:10 12:39
       
       
15:25 16:05 16:25 16:54
       
19:30 20:10 - -

Passenger Boat
Passenger Fares (One-way)
Uno ⇋ Shodoshima ¥1,260 (Child ¥630)
Uno ⇋ Teshima (Karato) ¥1,050 (Child ¥530)
Uno ⇋ Teshima (Ieura) ¥780 (Child ¥390)
Teshima (Ieura) ⇋ Shodoshima ¥780 (Child ¥390)
Teshima (Karato) ⇋ Shodoshima ¥490 (Child ¥250)
Teshima (Ieura) ⇋ Teshima (Karato) ¥300 (Child ¥150)

Passengers - Admitted
Bicycles - Not admitted
Cars & Trucks - Not admitted

Uno Dpt. Ieura Dpt. Karato Dpt. Tonosho Arr.
- 06:40 06:55 07:15
       
08:40 09:05 09:20 09:40
       
11:35 12:00 - -
13:25 13:50 14:05 14:25
       
17:30 17:55 18:10 18:30
       

Tonosho Port (Shodoshima) ➔ Karato Port (Teshima) ➔ Ieura Port (Teshima) ➔ Uno Port


Ferry
Passenger Fares (One-way)
Uno ⇋ Shodoshima ¥1,260 (Child ¥630)
Uno ⇋ Teshima (Karato) ¥1,050 (Child ¥530)
Uno ⇋ Teshima (Ieura) ¥780 (Child ¥390)
Teshima (Ieura) ⇋ Shodoshima ¥780 (Child ¥390)
Teshima (Karato) ⇋ Shodoshima ¥490 (Child ¥250)
Teshima (Ieura) ⇋ Teshima (Karato) ¥300 (Child ¥150)

Passengers - Admitted
Bicycles - Admitted
Cars & Trucks - Admitted

Tonosho Dpt. Karato Dpt. Ieura Dpt. Uno Arr.
- - 06:00 06:40
       
08:40 09:10 09:30 10:09
       
       
13:10 13:40 14:00 14:39
       
17:50 18:20 18:40 19:19
       

Passenger Boat
Passenger Fares (One-way)
Uno ⇋ Shodoshima ¥1,260 (Child ¥630)
Uno ⇋ Teshima (Karato) ¥1,050 (Child ¥530)
Uno ⇋ Teshima (Ieura) ¥780 (Child ¥390)
Teshima (Ieura) ⇋ Shodoshima ¥780 (Child ¥390)
Teshima (Karato) ⇋ Shodoshima ¥490 (Child ¥250)
Teshima (Ieura) ⇋ Teshima (Karato) ¥300 (Child ¥150)

Passengers - Admitted
Bicycles - Not admitted
Cars & Trucks - Not admitted

Tonosho Dpt. Karato Dpt. Ieura Dpt. Uno Arr.
       
07:20 07:40 07:55 08:20
       
10:30 10:50 11:05 11:30
- - 12:30 12:55
       
15:50 16:10 16:25 16:50
       
19:25 19:45 20:00 -

Megijima & Ogijima Ferries

For complete information, visit the Meon website (PDF).

Takamatsu Port ➔ Megijima ➔ Ogijima


Ferry
Passenger Fares (One-way)
Takamatsu ⇋ Megijima ¥370 (Child ¥190)
Takamatsu ⇋ Ogijima ¥510 (Child ¥260)
Megijima ⇋ Ogijima ¥190 (Child ¥120)

Passengers - Admitted
Bicycles - Admitted
Motorbikes - Admitted

January 1 to July 31, August 21 to December 31
Takamatsu Dpt. Megijima Dpt. Ogijima Arr.
08:00 08:20 08:40
10:00 10:20 10:40
12:00 12:20 12:40
14:00 14:20 14:40
16:00 16:20 16:40
18:10 18:30 18:50
August 1 to August 20
Takamatsu Dpt. Megijima Dpt. Ogijima Arr.
08:00 08:20 08:40
09:10 09:30 -
10:00 10:20 10:40
11:10 11:30 -
12:00 12:20 12:40
13:10 13:30 -
14:00 14:20 14:40
15:10 15:30 -
16:00 16:20 16:40
17:10 17:30 -
18:10 18:30 18:50
18:40 19:00 -

Ogijima ➔ Megijima ➔ Takamatsu Port


Ferry
Passenger Fares (One-way)
Takamatsu ⇋ Megijima ¥370 (Child ¥190)
Takamatsu ⇋ Ogijima ¥510 (Child ¥260)
Megijima ⇋ Ogijima ¥190 (Child ¥120)

Passengers - Admitted
Bicycles - Admitted
Motorbikes - Admitted

January 1 to July 31, August 21 to December 31
Ogijima Dpt. Megijima Dpt. Takamatsu Arr.
07:00 07:20 07:40
9:00 9:20 9:40
11:00 11:20 11:40
13:00 13:20 13:40
15:00 15:20 15:40
17:20 17:20 17:20
August 1 to August 20
Ogijima Dpt. Megijima Dpt. Takamatsu Arr.
07:00 07:20 07:40
- 08:10 08:30
9:00 9:20 9:40
- 10:10 10:30
11:00 11:20 11:40
- 12:10 12:30
13:00 13:20 13:40
- 14:10 14:30
15:00 15:20 15:40
- 16:10 16:30
17:00 17:20 17:40
- 18:10 18:30

Where to stay on Naoshima

If you are planning to spend a night or two on Naoshima, there are many options available. We list a few of our favorites here. Our picks range from budget to extravagant, with options for groups, families, and solo travelers. All are foreigner-friendly and English-capable. You can browse many more options on the Naoshima Tourism Association website.

My Lodge Naoshima
Miyanoura
From ¥15,000 for a private room
Website (English)

My Lodge Naoshima is a modern hotel on a hilltop overlooking the sea. It opened in 2020, and offers generous amenities including an in-house restaurant serving Mediterranean fare with a Setouchi twist. There's also an observation platform above the hotel that offers amazing panoramic views. It's located just outside of Miyanoura village, so it's very quiet, though it's a bit of a climb to reach it.

Bamboo Village
Honmura
From ¥5,000 per person
Website (English/Japanese)

Bamboo Village is a cozy, quirky guesthouse in the forest overlooking Honmura Village. It's close to Art House Project and bus connections, but away from the traffic. Its rooms have bunk beds and so it's great for groups. Normally it's a shared-room facility but, in response to the pandemic, they do not currently put people from multiple parties in the same room. The per-person rate is reduced depending on how many are in your party. The manager, Johnny, is very friendly and speaks English, Cantonese, and Japanese.

Yado
Miyanoura
From ¥15,000
Website (Airbnb)

American-Japanese couple Jen and Ono moved to Naoshima from Tokyo and transformed a dilapidated house into an inviting, art-filled inn. The downstairs "blue room" sleeps several people, and larger parties can also book the entire house. Breakfast is provided. Yado is centrally located in Miyanoura and very kid-friendly, making this spot great for families. Ono was a bartender for years in Tokyo and now runs a little curry-and-beer joint nearby, which is worth a visit as well.

Shimacoya
Honmura
¥2,000 per person plus tent rental and other fees
Website (English & Japanese)

The ultimate budget lodging option on Naoshima is Shimacoya. Guests sleep in tents in a large shared room. Tents can be rented for ¥1,000; if you bring your own tent, you can pitch it in the garden outside. The toilet and shower facility is also shared. While not for everyone, the "tent stay" option is popular with young travelers and a great way to meet people. A small cafe and bookshop is also on the premises. The proprietor is a friendly former interior designer who has a fig orchard on the island with a small sauna.

Tsumuya
Tsumuura
From ¥10,000 for an entire home
Website (Booking.com)

Tsumuya is a small guesthouse in Naoshima's third village, Tsumuura. Up to 6 guests have the entire house to themselves, including a standard kitchen, a library, and a vintage, salon-style hairdryer chair. It features the classic elements of Japanese homes: tatami floors, sliding doors, and a hallway that looks out onto a traditional garden. Tsumuura is a quiet fishing village, but it's conveniently located between the museum area and Honmura. There are also a handful of restaurants in the village.

Benesse House
Museum Area
From ¥33,000 for a private room
Website (English)

Benesse House Museum is also a hotel—or several, really, all designed by Tadao Ando and each with unique qualities. Every room has sea views, star-caliber artwork, and generous amenities. The hotel staff offer exceptional service and will even pick you up from the port in special shuttles. Guests at the Museum hotel rooms have round-the-clock access to the museum galleries. If you're after an unforgettable experience and don't mind the splurge, the Oval rooms crest a mountaintop; enormous glass windows offer guests their own private slice of the Setouchi panorama.

What to eat

There are many, many places to eat on Naoshima, with food ranging from simple snacks to fine cuisine. But there are also times when it seems like absolutely nothing is open. Here are some of our favorites, with notes on location and opening times.

Note that many business close in the winter, and that the few places open for dinner are often very busy, so it's best to plan ahead.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is the yellow pumpkin back?


Yep! Yayoi Kusama’s iconic Pumpkin (1994) was irreparably damaged by a typhoon in August 2021, but a new version was installed in October 2022.

Is it better to visit Naoshima during Setouchi Triennale?


Benesse Art Site Naoshima often debuts new museums, galleries, and major outdoor artworks during Triennale years. That said, these sites nearly always remain open when the Triennale concludes. Naoshima is also the most-visited island during the Triennale, so it can be quite crowded. So if you are planning a trip to Setouchi specifically to see Naoshima, it’s usually better to do it outside of the Triennale. However, if you’re here for the Triennale, there’s no reason to avoid Naoshima, either. Just make sure to plan ahead if you’d like to stay on the island, as rooms fill up quickly.

Is there a campground on Naoshima?


There is no campground on Naoshima. However, you can pitch your tent at Shimacoya for ¥2,000. Make a reservation ahead of time.

What about bicycle/motorbike/car rentals?


Check the Naoshima Tourism Association website. Many places rent bicycles on Naoshima. The three main rental companies have shops facing Miyanoura Port. If you arrive early enough, or are traveling in a not especially busy period, you can just walk in and rent a bicycle. However, if you’re traveling in a peak period, you should try to reserve a bicycle, especially if you want an e-bike (power-assisted).

A lot of places on Naoshima (including Art Island Center) do not have parking lots, so we recommend bicycles and scooters over cars in almost every case.

What are the vegetarian/vegan options on Naoshima?


Aisunao in Honmura serves vegan fare, as does Tee’s deli & bar in Miyanoura. Check with them ahead of time to make sure they are open. Many western-cuisine restaurants have vegetarian options, like Luke’s Pizza, but Japanese-cuisine restaurants use fish stock in nearly everything. In a pinch, there is a supermarket in Miyanoura and other grocery stores in Honmura and Tsumuura—check the Naoshima Tourism Association website for hours and locations.

I’m coming to Naoshima with children. What places are good for kids?


Naoshima can be a fun place for kids. We definitely recommend a light itinerary, particularly in hot weather, as the art sites are spread out and you’ll be doing a lot of walking. Art House Project is in the middle of Honmura village, so you can get snacks from a cafe or visit the playground by Minamidera. In Miyanoura, kids love going inside Yayoi Kusama’s Red Pumpkin and climbing around Naoshima Pavilion. There’s also a great, quiet beach nearby. But the best beach for kids is at Tsutsujiso; part of the water is netted off in the summer so it’s safe from jellyfish. The water is shallow near the shore and there’s a diving platform further out; there are also restrooms, as well as showers and hoses available for rinsing off before you leave.

Finally, Art Island Center is a fun stop, as we have books for children as well as children’s drawing supplies and other gifts.

We don’t recommend Chichu Art Museum for young kids, as their rules (no loud voices, don’t touch the walls) can be difficult. Older kids often enjoy it, though. Some restaurants are also not great for kids, particularly at dinnertime. New Olympia in Miyanoura has a no-kids policy.

Can I take photos in the museums?


Non-commercial photography is permitted in Benesse House Museum, Valley Gallery, Ando Museum, Hiroshi Sugimoto Gallery, Naoshima Plan “The Water”, and Art House Project, with some exceptions. Videography is prohibited, as are tripods.

All photography is prohibited at Chichu Art Museum, Lee Ufan Museum, Naoshima Bath “I♥湯”, and Miyanoura Gallery 6, as well as the museums on Teshima and Inujima.

Drones are prohibited on museum grounds.

What's "Benesse"?


Benesse Holdings (originally Fukutake Publishing) is an educational corporation in Japan. Its former chairman, Soichiro Fukutake, is behind the major art museums and other installations on Naoshima, Teshima, and Inujima, which are collectively branded Benesse Art Site Naoshima. In reality, the various art sites are operated by three distinct entities: Benesse Holdings, Fukutake Foundation, and Naoshima Cultural Village. Additionally, some of the high-profile works on Naoshima, like the red pumpkin and Naoshima Pavilion, are owned by the town. Despite this complicated arrangement, the various players work hard to keep the experience seamless for visitors, though there are giveaways like the different photography policies at each museum (see the previous question).