Naoshima! I actually never thought that I will make it to this special Island, but I am so glad I did. The whole island is designed by the famous Japanese architect Tadao Ando. I don’t think there is another place in the world, that I could compare Naoshima Art island with. It is just such a unique, special and beautiful place.
The night in the guesthouse wasn’t as good as I wished it would have been. On my day off, I woke up at 5:50am. Great! But well, not bad when I have a trip planned. I left the guesthouse at 6:40, enjoyed Kurashiki early in the morning without any people and made my way to the train station. There, I took the next train back to Okayama. Unfortunately, the train I wanted to take in Okayama already left. So annoying! Therefore, I couldn’t make it to the ferry I wanted to take as well. But perhaps it was better that way. I waited half an hour for the train to Uno port. I took the one at 7:40am, the only one where I didn’t need to change the train again. It took about 45 minutes from Okayama to Uno Port.
When I arrived, it started to rain horribly. Such a shit! There are definitely better places to visit when it’s raining than an island. I just hoped it would be stopping soon. But it got worse and worse. I went to the next Family Market, bought myself breakfast and went straight to the Ferry Terminal. I needed to wait until 9:22 for the next ferry. I ate breakfast and searched a little bit about the Art island, but the weather got worse and worse. The ferry ride took just 20 minutes! My mood wasn’t the best. I really hoped that the weather wouldn’t be that bad. It could have been so beautiful. The sea, beaches and sun. Just like as I would be on holidays. But no! It was grey, raining as hell and windy as well. It couldn’t get worse.
I couldn’t change it. Therefore, I took the island bus to the most iconic art piece on the island, the big pumpkin. It was stunning and just super cool. Nevertheless, I couldn’t really enjoy it. My backpack, as well as me were completely wet, even though I had an umbrella. The rain was so strong! It was just said. I tried to make the best out of it, but already planned my way back to the main land.
With the free shuttle bus, I went to the most popular museum of the whole island. The Chi chu Art is presenting art pieces of Claude Monet, Walter de Maria, James Turrell and Tadao Ando. I am not very interested in historical paintings or extremely abstract art, but sometimes it can be amazing. I didn’t have the “amazing” moments often when visiting a museum, but this time I had a lot of them. It was crazy!
I had to wait a while until I could go inside. Most of the visitors had booked a ticket online. But it is absolutely no problem when not having one. Before entering the main building, you are walking through a beautiful little garden. You could really imagine how artists like Monet got inspired by the flowers, butterflies, all the nature and piece. Inside, I wasn’t allowed to take any pictures, but I wished I would have. It was breath-taking, really! I’ve never seen anything like that before. The paintings of Monet were presented in a huge, completely white room. The other artistic pieces were absolutely amazing as well. I really can’t get over it. In one room there was this white-blueish picture. It looked so three dimensional. There were some steps where you could walk to the picture. It was crazy. It wasn’t a picture! We could actually step inside. OMG! Really incredible. I was speechless and so impressed. That was my kind of art museum!
I almost felt like in Charly and the chocolate fabric. Do you remember the white TV room? All the staff where exactly dressed like in the movie, completely white. The only thing which was missing were these huge sunglasses.
It is a magical place. Definitely every yen worth it!
And hey, who thought it would stop raining? I couldn’t have been happier. I left the museum and walked a little around the island. It was absolutely amazing. The sun came out and the whole island had a completely different vibe now. I saw some beautiful beaches. I had them all on my own! Private beaches just like that. It made me so happy. From the worst to the best day I could have.
I walked further and passed by the Lee Ufan museum. I decided not to go inside, but to explore the outside art pieces. Instead, I went inside the Benesse House, another museum on the island. It was really cool again, but not as impressive as the first one. I don’t think there will ever be a museum reaching the Chi chu Art museum.
Afterwards I headed back to the big pumpkin on the beach. Of course, I needed to go back when the weather is good. With all the palm trees, all these beautiful beaches and the perfect weather, I couldn’t have been happier. It was actually quite cool to see how different this place looks depending on the weather. Just a unique place.
Even though I would have loved to relax on the beach, I decided to take the bus back to the ferry terminal to catch the ferry at 2:55pm. It is quite a long way back to Kyoto and I didn’t want to be back too late. Therefore, I made my way back to the port, took the ferry to Uno, then the train to Okayama with one change, from there the shinkansen to Kyoto station and the subway back to my home. Sounds worse than it actually was. But I need to say that I was happy when I finally arrived. I also went to grocery shopping at the station before going home. The rest of the evening I took a shower (OMG I felt so sticky), cooked myself dinner, watched all the pictures I made and went finally to bed. Not the most relaxing weekend, but definitely an exciting one!