Tokyo guzzler September 2016, part 2 – Naoshima & Teshima

My second trip to Naoshima, the rejuvenated contemporary art island (previous guzzler entry can be found here). It’s a pretty magical place, regardless of whether you’re into your arts or not. I’m not ashamed to admit that a lot of the island’s art installations are lost on me; I listen to offerings and interpretations of what it all means with interest and, more often than not, scepticism. However, the island of Naoshima is sufficiently beautiful enough to keep you occupied. The art there is an added bonus.


We arrived via a private water taxi and headed to our accommodation at Tsutsujiso. This place is perfect for a Naoshima stay, with stunning views looking out towards Shikoku. You can stay in a Mongolian yurt, a caravan or a Japanese cottage – all within a few metres of the sea. It’s an awesome place to watch the sun go down with a beer in hand.


Wander a short distance along the beach and you’ll reach the iconic Naoshima pumpkin. It must’ve been photographed a million times. You can even get pumpkin-flavoured ice-cream nearby.


Naoshima boasts works by Andy Warhol, Monet, James Turrell and Rolf Harris (one of these is in fact a lie). Visits to Benesse House and the Chichu Art Museum would be highly recommended if you’re making the effort to head to the area. And like many small islands in Japan, it also boasts an impressive number of cats running around freely. Meet Ginger, Ginger, Ginger and Ginger….


Teshima was, once again, the stand out part of the trip. It’s a short island hop away from Naoshima. The Teshima Art Museum is a must-visit. I fell asleep there for a good 45 minutes. That’s not a bad thing; there were dozens of other sleepers present too.


The museum isn’t conventional in any way. I won’t spoil it for anyone that may visit….


The beach at Teshima was deserted again, for the second time running. That might have something to do with the dumping scandal that engulfed the island for 25 years. Don’t let that put you off though…

The islands of Naoshima and Teshima are fantastic places to relax, take in the fresh country air, and maybe take in as much (or little) art as you wish. Whilst both places require a bit of effort to reach, they are well worth the trek. Enjoy!


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