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Trying to figure out Naoshima / Benesse House questions

New York City, New...
Level Contributor
57 posts
Trying to figure out Naoshima / Benesse House questions

Hi all,

So I'll be in Japan at the end of March and luckily found a single night available at Benesse House. I'm trying to get an idea of the lay of the land.

If we've had a full day of exploring and it's now, say... 8pm... how difficult is it to get from Benesse House to a local restaurant BESIDES the ones in the museum? Will we be able to find our way on bikes at night? Both restaurants in the museum seem to have gotten mediocre reviews. I would happily eat there if I thought it would be an experience, but I'm reading a lot of things that are saying they are overpriced.

Can the entire island be walked/explored in one day by foot?

Thanks!

7 replies to this topic
Tokyo, Japan
Level Contributor
24,039 posts
52 reviews
1. Re: Trying to figure out Naoshima / Benesse House questions

1. You'd have to be a deep fan of contemporary art to enjoy Naoshima. I do like modern art and some contemporary art, but I am not that fond of contemporary art as a whole, in which artists chooses people. For me, Ohara Museum of Art in Kurashiki is the only worth going to place in the area on a short trip, although for a longer trip going to Naoshima won't be a bad idea at all. It's not a bad island at all.

2. The museum complex is mostly organized and tied to Benesse Corporation. I think it was a great idea that they transformed the once nationally notorious chemically polluted island by rebranding/redeveloping it as an art island, but the island is small with a small population, do not have restaurants or cafes open late into night as local people eat at home (whatever there exists close early), the nearest town/city is Uno or Takamatsu. If you want to enjoy nightlife, Naoshima is clearly not the place to be (enjoy the sound of the waves and star-lit skies if weather permits).

3. The town on the islands have three hamlets: 1) Miyanoura port, 2) Honmura port, and 3) Tsumiura fishing port. It is not impossible to walk or cycle between the hamlets, but it would be dark at night and not recommended to avoid accidents occurring. Bus runs until around 20:00 with long intervals but it does not run where the Benesse House hotel is.

Edited: 06 February 2017, 03:45
Tokyo, Japan
Level Contributor
24,039 posts
52 reviews
2. Re: Trying to figure out Naoshima / Benesse House questions

Food options on the official Naoshima Tourist Information website: https://goo.gl/DKfRUJ

Last order closes usually 30min+ before the closure time.

Note: there is only one taxi operating at Naoshima.

Edited: 06 February 2017, 03:48
Tokyo, Japan
Level Contributor
24,039 posts
52 reviews
3. Re: Trying to figure out Naoshima / Benesse House questions

My overall message is this: if you are going to Naoshima Island, do understand what the island offers (and what not). You'd have a grasp on most things by browsing the Benesse Artsite website and Naoshima Tourist Association website in English. Be prepared (you can buy snacks and drinks at a convenience store before getting there):

http://benesse-artsite.jp/en/

http://www.naoshima.net/en/

Also, see these for extra ideas:

https:/…Q1350060

https:/…_Kagawa

https://goo.gl/oWqvyL ; https://goo.gl/UtnD4z

Edited: 06 February 2017, 03:59
New York, NY
Level Contributor
1,125 posts
126 reviews
4. Re: Trying to figure out Naoshima / Benesse House questions

Yobeekool's 3-part novel probably has good answers. My short answer, biking into town from Benesse after 8pm not recommended. Dark, narrow windy streets, though I am not a bike person. Perhaps you can grab dinner wherever you are before heading back to Benesse and have the bus schedule handy. You can walk around by foot for all your sightseeing however there are long stretches of not much to see and if I recall, some big hills.

Japan
Level Contributor
4,179 posts
149 reviews
5. Re: Trying to figure out Naoshima / Benesse House questions

Also check the TA reviews for the place - there are some good ones, and some stingingly bad ones too.

San Francisco...
Level Contributor
307 posts
1 review
6. Re: Trying to figure out Naoshima / Benesse House questions

I think the Art House Projects are the highlight of Naoshima.

1 post
7. Re: Trying to figure out Naoshima / Benesse House questions

We are literally taking the ferry back from naoshima right now after spending a day. We went to the art houses, spa, as well as the two museums. Here are my tips ---

Biking the island is significantly over-rated, involving 16% grades. If we had to do it again, we would book far in advance at the benesse hotel, which has one of the two great museums. The other, Chi Chu, is a 20 minute walk from there. I would stay one night, walk the bennesee grounds, eat at their restaurant, walk to the other museum which and that's it.

The island is very unique and worth going to, just requires advanced planning and it's teeny and not much to do beyond benesse. We tried hard, but that's what we found.

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