The Island of Art, Naoshima

Written by : Huda tnt

You probably already know about Kagawa Prefecture in the Shikoku Island. As the smallest prefecture in Japan, Kagawa is known for its delicacy of Udon, the popular Japanese cuisine. But that’s not the only thing that Kagawa has to lure you visiting the place, this prefecture also has an Island of Art, Naoshima.

Naoshima has been known as the best place to visit in west Japan. It’s famous for the beautiful scenery of the island, outstandingly attractive museums and the beautiful shore combined with the three-dimensional artworks.

These are the list of places that you have to see on this beautiful little island:

Miyanoura Port

If you are traveling from the center of Japan, it is recommended to go to Naoshima via Uno Port in Okayama Prefecture.

By using the ferry from Uno Port you will be arriving in Myanoura Port in Naoshima Island. In this place, there is a giant-pumpkin sculpture colored in red polka-dot. This is the artwork from the very famous Japanese female artist, Yayoi Kusama.

Giant-pumpkin sculpture in red polka-dot
Giant-pumpkin sculpture in red polka-dot

Honmura Community Hall

This is the community hall for people in Naoshima to gather and see the art performance and other cultural events.
Visit it in autumn maybe a good choice because you can enjoy beautiful colored leaves here.

community hall

Gooh Shrine

The hidden artworks in Naoshima, you need more energy to find this place, because it’s located in the mountain near the village.


This artwork combines the concept of Japanese culture and the modern material such as a block of glass. Made by the Japanese artist, Hiroshi Sugimoto.

Chichu Art Museum

If you are the big fans of Claude Monet, this place could be considered as a paradise for you. Because this museum possesses 5 artworks of Monet and some other famous artist.

Here is the list of artworks in this Museum:
Claude Monet;
• Water-Lily Pond C.1915-26
• Water-Lilies, Cluster of Grass , 1914-17
• Water-Lilies , 1914-17
• Water-Lily Pond , 1917-19
• Water Lilies, Reflections of Weeping Willows , 1916-19

Walter de Maria;
• Seen/Unseen Known/Unknown (2000, Naoshima)

James Turrell;
• Backside of the Moon (1999, Naoshima)

Besides the possession of the artworks from famous artists in the world, the design of the museum itself is stunningly attractive. The building has been constructed using the blueprint from the famous Japanese architect Tadao Ando. Apparently it’s forbidden to take a picture here.

Benesse Art Site

This art site is the area of 2 kilometers around the Benesse House Hotel. There are many 3-Dimensional artworks with different style and artist in this site. Those artworks distributed in the several places near the shoreline. Sometimes the artworks are clearly shown on the cliff or another time hidden in cave-like places, the idea is so the artworks can adapt the natural light of this island.

artwork 1

artwork 2

artwork 3

The most iconic artworks
The most iconic artworks

Near this place there is a nice park with a green carpet made of grass. It’s the perfect place for praying and lunch with your friend or family.


The last is, the placement, the timing and the form of this artwork is so perfect beyond my expectation. It places at the end of your journey exploring Naoshima Island, and the timing must be around 5 pm, so they prepare a perfect lightning spot.

the beautiful Polyhedron at Naoshima Island
the beautiful Polyhedron at Naoshima Island

In the end of the journey, make sure that you still have time to catch up the ferry back to Uno Port. But if you plan to stay for more than one day, you need to book the motel before coming. So in the next day you can continue your exploration for the artworks and beautiful places in Naoshima, since there are much more places to visit in this island of Art, Naoshima.

Where to pray and lunch

Finding halal food in Naoshima is quite hard so I recommend you to prepare your food from home, or from Okayama. There are a lot of onigiri shop inside Okayama Station.

The scenery is beautiful and there are a lot of artworks to enjoy in Naoshima, so instead of spending your time in food, just prepare your own and eat it in the beach while enjoying the scene and arts.

There is no such praying room in Naoshima, but you can pray almost in every corner of the island. I recommend you to do pray at the park near the Benesse Art Site because it’s easier to take a wudhu (ablution) there. Just don’t forget to bring your prayer rugs.