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Naoshima, Japan - August 13 2018: Yayoi Kusama's famous pumpkin artwork on Naoshima Island
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Naoshima Island view Towards Ocean with Clouds and Sky and Fores
Naoshima island, Shikoku Japan

Discover Naoshima, an island of contemporary artists


Naoshima Island feels like an open-air museum and is a perfect destination for contemporary art enthusiasts. With its many modern art galleries, unusual architecture, and a spattering of outdoor sculptures, this island is brimming with delights for the eyes and soul.

The best way to explore Naoshima is by bike so that you can admire the sights at your own pace. Must-sees include Yayoi Kusama's Yellow Pumpkin or the Art House Project, which is a collection of abandoned homes that artists reclaimed and brought back to life. These converted dwellings are made possible by the Benesse Foundation, as is the Benesee House, a museum and hotel filled with contemporary art pieces.

There's also Setouchi Triennale, an international contemporary art festival, which sees artwork exhibited all over the island. If you're more partial to classical painting, but appreciate an imaginative setting, then visit the Chichu Art Museum, designed by the famous Japanese architect Tadao Andō. Claude Monet's Les Nymphéas paintings deck the walls of this unique museum's underground galleries. As you explore its different sections, you'll find yourself moving between light and darkness, resulting in an immersive experience.

Other unmissable experiences