Naoshima Diary: il Vento art cafe

Travel notes:
We arrived onto the island of Teshima from Uno port on the Saturday morning. Boat ride was a direct 45min.
Upon arriving at Teshima island, we decided to get a car rental for the day. It was about a 5min walk from the port and we were in luck. Without a reservation, we were able to get a car rental for the day. And it was pretty cheap. 5000yen for the day, split between 3 people. After get a whole bunch of explanations, directions and recommendations from Aki-san (the car rental owner guy), we were on our way. Car had to be back by 5pm, so we had to cram in 6 hours of sightseeing.

Teshima island is pretty tiny. Most people rent bikes, but the place is a little hilly and it was stinking hot. An air-conditioned car was the way to go and we were really lucky to snare us a car. A full day of sightseeing ahead.

So, why Teshima? Teshima is one of the Art Islands in the Seto Inland Sea. Most people only visit it as a half day trip from Naoshima. I would say it definitely warranted a full day to see everything. There was still heaps more that we could have seen had we had more time. We stayed on the island overnight, which is not really common. Accommodation is super limited with only about 2-3 options to choose from. Infrastructure on the island is also very limited. Not so many eateries, and I barely saw a single shop. Not a single conbini that we came across in the 24 hours that we were there. It’s pretty remote. But it was awesome. And the only thing to do/see on the island is all art based. Nothing else there to see. And all the art will cost you money.

In the morning we did covered a fair chunk of the art plus a lunch break. In the afternoon we stopped by il Vento cafe. It’s an art cafe. To even see/enter the building will cost you 300yen (without a food order) or you can order from the cafe instead thereby seeing the cafe with the cost built in. We decided to have afternoon tea – a refreshing beverage and cake.

Totally picked the best cake there – a lemon cake which was delicious and an Olive cider, which was surprisingly really good. I forgot to mention that the island is popular for olives (there’s an olive farm there).

The building itself is a converted Japanese house:

From il Vento art cafe

But the interior is super trippy.

Camouflaged seating:

From il Vento art cafe

Where the furniture blends with the walls and ceilings:

From il Vento art cafe
From il Vento art cafe

Downstairs seating:

From il Vento art cafe

Outdoor seating. It was way too hot to seat inside, hence it was totally empty:

From il Vento art cafe
From il Vento art cafe

Beware the stairs:

From il Vento art cafe
From il Vento art cafe

We opted for the upstairs seating which was super funky:

From il Vento art cafe

Olive Cider:

From il Vento art cafe

Amazing lemon cake. And I loved that with every cake order, you got two portions of cake.

From il Vento art cafe
From il Vento art cafe
From il Vento art cafe
From il Vento art cafe
From il Vento art cafe
From il Vento art cafe
From il Vento art cafe
From il Vento art cafe
From il Vento art cafe

View of the village rooftops:

From il Vento art cafe

Super cool cafe. Time your visit for afternoon tea there.

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