Tag Archive | Naoshima

Naoshima Diary: At Uno Station

The Cliff notes of my long weekend trip to Naoshima:

Friday night: Depart Tokyo station after work. Board 7:30pm shinkansen to Okayama station. Arrive Okayama station at 11pm. Check into hotel for the night and crash out into bed.

Saturday morning: Early breakfast. Check out of hotel at about 8:10am. Board the 8:24am train departing Okayama bound for Uno station. (Change at Chayamachi enroute to Uno). Alight at Uno station about an hour later.

Destination Uno reached. A most awesome name for a train station and a small port town.
I was quite excited to be at a place named after a card game.

From Uno station
From Uno station
From Uno station
From Uno station

At Uno with numero uno!

From Uno station
From Uno station

Okay, let’s try that again and let’s try to not get hair obscuring the face.

From Uno station

That’s more like it.

Outside Uno station are two giant monuments. This one….

From Uno station

And this one: the Goddess of the Sea:

From Uno station

And now it’s time to smell the cheese:

From Uno station

And incidentally, ticked off another prefecture – Okayama prefecture done. Only another 8 (?) to go!

Naoshima red pumpkin

Ugh, I have a huge backlog of blog posts, or rather photos to upload.

Here are some from about 9 months ago. I never finished that Naoshima diary.

In addition to the giant yellow pumpkin found near the Benesse art park, there is also a red pumpkin sculpture by the ferry port, the main arrival point onto the island.

From Naoshima red pumpkin
From Naoshima red pumpkin
From Naoshima red pumpkin
From Naoshima red pumpkin
From Naoshima red pumpkin
From Naoshima red pumpkin
From Naoshima red pumpkin
From Naoshima red pumpkin
From Naoshima red pumpkin
From Naoshima red pumpkin
From Naoshima red pumpkin

Naoshima Diary: Frame Art Tunnel

This is another art installation found on Teshima Island. In fact, handfuls of random properties have been converted into art installations.

This one was cool and yep, set us back another 300 yen.

From Teshima frame tunnel
From Teshima frame tunnel

A tunnel made of window frames.

From Teshima frame tunnel
From Teshima frame tunnel
From Teshima frame tunnel

The view at the other end:

From Teshima frame tunnel
From Teshima frame tunnel
From Teshima frame tunnel
From Teshima frame tunnel
From Teshima frame tunnel

Silhouette:

From Teshima frame tunnel
From Teshima frame tunnel
From Teshima frame tunnel

Naoshima Diary: Teshima Art Museum

One of the highlights of Teshima Island was the Teshima Art Museum.
It cost about 1500yen for entry, but totally worth it for the one and only art installation there.
Most people visit Teshima just for a half day and see this.

Photography of the installation is not allowed, so I’ve only got photos of the exterior, but definitely worth checking this out. Needs to be seen and experienced for yourself.

From Teshima art museum
From Teshima art museum
From Teshima art museum
From Teshima art museum
From Teshima art museum

This was the musuem shop and cafe:

From Teshima art museum
From Teshima art museum

View of the island countryside:

From Teshima art museum
From Teshima art museum
From Teshima art museum
From Teshima art museum
From Teshima art museum
From Teshima art museum

Overnight on Teshima Island

Most people barely visit Teshima for a day let alone stay overnight there. It’s often seen as a day trip from Naoshima.
But we did Teshima first, stayed overnight there and then moved onto Naoshima.
We had a rental car for the day on Teshima and still didn’t get to see everything.
We had to return the car at 5pm and made our way back to the port where we got picked up by the hotel owners to take us to our accommodation for the night.

Accommodation on Teshima Island is very, very limited.
One of the few lodgings is Teshima Amore Resort – a really bizarre little place run by a Japanese couple. It is now basically a delapilated resort located right on a private beach, but I’m sure it was seen as luxury lodgings back in its heyday.

The private beach was nice for walking along at sunset. Didn’t get a chance to have a dip although it would have been nice to. Very secluded and quiet. There were only a few other guests staying there and the owners were quite friendly and accommodating for us.

It was a random little place to stay, but very peaceful.

Excellent waterfront views of the Seto inland sea:

From Teshima Amore
From Teshima Amore
From Teshima Amore
From Teshima Amore
From Teshima Amore

The rather run-down rooms for the night:

From Teshima Amore
From Teshima Amore
From Teshima Amore
From Teshima Amore

Private beach:

From Teshima Amore
From Teshima Amore
From Teshima Amore
From Teshima Amore
From Teshima Amore
From Teshima Amore
From Teshima Amore
From Teshima Amore
From Teshima Amore
From Teshima Amore
From Teshima Amore
From Teshima Amore
From Teshima Amore
From Teshima Amore
From Teshima Amore

The rooms weren’t the Ritz, but the dinner was pretty special. An awesome BBQ feast out on the deck.

From Teshima Amore

An absolute feast, I tell you!

From Teshima Amore

For a little run down place, the accommodation price was definitely on the pricier side – but factor in that it was a night’s accommodation, BBQ dinner feast included, breakfast included, and to/from pick up/drop off to the port – it was not bad value.

Thoroughly enjoyed Teshima Island. And Naoshima Island was going to be even better!

Naoshima Diary: Posing with Giant Pumpkins

A 3-day long weekend was had and my brother was visiting Japan. On the last few days of his trip, I headed down to meet up with him in Okayama for our final adventure – a trip to Teshima and Naoshima islands also known as the Art Islands.

Truth was, I was supposed to go there over the last Christmas/New Years break, but you might recall no adventures were had by me and I stuck around in Tokyo for personal reasons. So at last, I finally got to go with brother and a friend in tow.
Day 1 was Teshima. Day 2 and 3 was Naoshima.

I’m just gonna jump to the highlight of the trip which was posing around with oversized pumpkin sculptures (all in the name of art).

Currently obsessed with giant plastic polka-dotted pumpkins.
This is the yellow one (yes, more than one oversized pumpkin!) located on Naoshima island and brought hours of entertainment.

From Yellow pumpkin day 1
From Yellow pumpkin day 1
From Yellow pumpkin day 1
From Yellow pumpkin day 1

I think I foresee a future as a pumpkin model:

From Yellow pumpkin day 1
From Yellow pumpkin day 1
From Yellow pumpkin day 1

Super excited about giant pumpkins. I can barely contain myself:

From Yellow pumpkin day 1
From Yellow pumpkin day 1
From Yellow pumpkin day 1
From Yellow pumpkin day 1
From Yellow pumpkin day 1

Pushing Pumpkins. Beats pushing papers:

From Yellow pumpkin day 1
From Yellow pumpkin day 1
From Yellow pumpkin day 1
From Yellow pumpkin day 1
From Yellow pumpkin day 1
From Yellow pumpkin day 1
From Yellow pumpkin day 1
From Yellow pumpkin day 1

No selfie is complete without a giant pumpkin in it:

From Yellow pumpkin day 1
From Yellow pumpkin day 1
From Yellow pumpkin day 1
From Yellow pumpkin day 1
From Yellow pumpkin day 1

Note, that these photos are from the Yellow Pumpkin Day 1 album. More of the same yellow pumpkin photos taken on Day 2!

Artist is none other than Yayao Kusama, of polka-dot fame.

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.