Day 18: Acting cultured

Today we had another day of exploring on the cards. We jumped on the train down to Uno Port where we took the ferry to Naoshima Island, otherwise known as the art island.

The island had been recommended to us by some friends who had also suggested we hire bicycles to get around, and that we should get the electric ones as they regretted not doing so. While they were a little more expensive we thought it would be fun and after the first hill, we were so glad we did!

We firstly visited the Chichu Art Museum which was an incredible gallery designed by Tadao Ando. It was made mainly of concrete and steel and housed a few different permanent exhibitions. The building was made in a way so that it didn’t interfere with the landscape and the majority of it was underground, yet the lighting was mainly natural. Our favourite part was the lighting installation by James Turrell, it is so hard to describe how beautiful it was!

From there we cycled further around the island to Benesse House, another gallery which also has (very expensive) accommodation. Again there were more stunning pieces of modern art, housed inside an architectural masterpiece.

After that we saw some of the outdoor sculptures down on the waterfront including the famous giant yellow pumpkin by Yayoi Kusama.

By this time it had started to drizzle so after getting lost down a few back streets, we weren’t sure how much longer the bicycles would be fun. We stopped at museum of Tadao Ando, the architect for the main galleries on the island, and saw his workings as well as some of some of the projects he had done elsewhere.

As we left the last gallery it began to pour with rain so we turned our bicycles on turbo mode and heading back to the main port. We briefly stopped by the 007 museum, where they had all the details of the island community’s campaign to have a Bond movie made on the island.

After we got back to the mainland we decided to check out the beer festival across from our hotel for a second time. We had a bit more confidence knowing what was going on and tried some really interesting beers including one infused with smoked chamomile. For dinner we stopped by the 280 bar again and ate more delicious soy sauce and butter fries than anyone is supposed to consume!

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