Art Island — Naoshima, Japan

This was our second Thanksgiving in Japan since moving to Asia. There is something familiar about Japan that doesn’t feel as foreign to us. We both lived there for short periods of time. We speak a little of the language. We know how to get from place to place and the customs and every day life are not as foreign as many other places. And, thanks to friends, we knew about this beautiful island that even many Japanese have never heard of.


This may look like a shot of gers in Mongolia but they are actually on Naoshima Island in the Seto Inland Sea of Japan. Known as the Art Island, Naoshima is now much more than just art. There are restoration projects of traditional Japanese houses, a sustainable rice growing project, environmental education and of course fabulous art both in the museums and outside in parks, on the side of cliffs, in our hotel room — just about everywhere you look.


Beach installation based on Jennifer Bartlett Yellow and Black Boats , 1985 which hangs in the Benesse House Museum

Here is a short description and history of how Naoshima came to be. No pictures from inside the galleries but here is a taste of the outside installations from around the island.

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4 thoughts on “Art Island — Naoshima, Japan

  1. Joan and Wally MacDonald

    Reminds me a little of the art installations on the rolling green hills at Storm King in NY. Lovely and so peaceful. And it LOOKS warm compared to Ulaanbaatar…. Wa it? It’s been cold here — that’s relative I know — 30 so plants had to be covered and I forgot to cover our multi grafted fruit tree so hope it survives. Every time I mention the cold I say but really not compared to U. Hope you’re managing the cold and the air.

    Has the media in Japan and U been full of tributes and retrospectives of Mandela? we’ve seen this in French and German news but not much from Asia, etc.

  2. wonderful, thanks for sharing. learned about the architect and this project a few years ago, but didn’t realize the scale of the vision and all the other sites. what will you do for christmas ??

  3. It was absolutely lovely there, and definitely warmer than Mongolia! Christmas plans still taking shape, but there are lots of trees and other decorations up here, even though the celebrated holiday is actually New Year’s.

  4. Pingback: Jeju Island, Korea | Drinking Coffee Elsewhere: Mongolia

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