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Overlooking Benesse House in Naoshima and Seto Inland Sea
Naoshima (直島) is an island located in the Seto Inland Sea of Japan.
Though the island is much closer to Honshu, administratively it belongs to Shikoku's Kagawa prefecture. It has about 3471 inhabitants (on 1st JAN 2006).
English maps can be obtained at the Marine Station Naoshima (designed by SANAA) just in the front of ferry quey.
Naoshima can be reached by boat from Uno (Honshu) and from Takamatsu (Shikoku). Regular ferry services runs about 13 times a day from Uno (20 minutes, ¥280) and about 5 times from Takamatsu (one hour, ¥510). High speed passenger ferries run twice daily from Uno (15 minutes, ¥280) and once daily from Takamatsu (30 minutes, ¥1200).
High speed ferries also run from Uno to Honmura five times a day (20 minutes, ¥280).
From Okayama, a stop on the San'yo shinkansen, there are infrequent local trains directly to Uno (65 minutes). Otherwise, take the Marine Liner rapid train and transfer at Chayamachi (茶屋町) for the train to Uno (40 minutes with a good connection). The train cost is ¥570.
Rental bicycles are available at Cafe Ougiya in the Marine Station Naoshima opened on 4th Oct 2006 at Miyaura port. About15 bicycles are held(¥500/day), though they are for adults with their size.
- Other Rental bicycles are dealed at a small flower shop on the corner left opposite the port. There are about 15 bicycles.(¥500/day)(deposit ¥2000 reqiured which be repayed on return bicycles)
Local bus serves a route connecting the two ports with Benesse Art Site and Chichu Art Museum. (¥100 flat rate)
Since the island is quite small, in 30-60 minutes you can easily reach any place on foot: the two villages, the ports and the museums.
- Miyaura port to Chichu Art Museum takes about 30 minutes on southwest course.
- Miyaura port to Honmura (Art House Project) takes about 30 minutes.
- Honmura to Benesse House takes about 30 minutes.
- Benesse House to Chichu Art Museum takes about 20 minutes.
Naoshima island attained importance through the recent investigations in contemporary art and architecture.
- Benesse House, . Displays contemporary artworks in and around the museum. A superb fusion of nature, art and architecture. Displays artworks of Andy Warhol, Jackson Pollock, Richard Long and others. Museum building (1992) and Annex (1995) designed by world famous Japanese architect Tadao Ando. Adult admission ¥1000.
In 2006 May, some additional buildings were established.
New hotels “Park” and “Beach”opened, besides older hotels' names were changed into“Museum”(former Contemporary Art Museum),“Oval”(former Annex).
Also restaurant renewed as “Terrace Restaurant”, and “Spa”was built newly though that is not a hot spring but a beauty salon.
- Art House Projects. Old village houses converted into art spaces showing artworks of Japanese and international artists. Combined ticket for the projects ¥500.
- Minamidera by James Turrell and Tadao Ando
- Kadoya by Tatsuo Miyajima
- Go'oh Jinja (Shrine) by Hiroshi Sugimoto
- Kinza is separated from other projects, reservation required 3 days in advance and admission ¥500. On Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Japanese national holiday,within 15 minutes for a person.
- Chichu Art Museum  presents works of Walter de Maria, Claude Monet, James Turrell and architect Tadao Ando. Adult admission ¥2000.
- 007 "The Man with the Red Tattoo" Museum  is a small showroom erected as a museum honoring Raymond Benson's Bond novel "The Man with the Red Tattoo". The reason why, important part of the story takes place on Benesse House, Naoshima Island where G8 is held. The "007 Museum" aims to present Naoshima as a Bond location on a national scale, introduce visitors to the story of "The Man With the Red Tattoo" making short cartoon 007 movie, imaginary art work in the novel and exhibit material and memorabilia related to the novels and films. It is located where 1 minute on foot from Miyanoura Port.In the house opposite of the Information Office, easily find it with seven red poles 6 m (20 feet) long. Free admission. Although it's called "museum", it's not as large as Benesse House or Chichu Art Museum.
- Naoshima (style of) architecture. All public institution buildings on Naoshima are designed by Kazuhiro Ishii, an architect born in Tokyo 1944. Those buildings are called "Naoshima architecture".
- Naoshima Elementary school (1970)
- Naoshima Kindergarten(elder class)(1974)
- Town gymnasium (1976) Gymnasium belongs to Naoshima Junior High school
- Naoshima Junior High school (1979)
- Naoshima Town Hall (1982) Called "Naoshima Hiunkaku" because it was designed after Honganji Temple which is famous for the Hiunkaku tower and resembles a castle.
- Naoshima Kindergarten (younger class) (1983)
- Tsutsuji-so (1991) municipal cottage
- Naoshima General Welfare Centre (1995)
Since they are public facilities, anyone can not only tour the inside of the Town Hall, Tsutsuji-so and Welfare Centre, but can also use the eateries in Tsutsuji-so and Welfare Centre.
Eating options are rather limited, although Benesse House has a restaurant (dinner around ¥4000) and a café, and Chichu Art Museum has a café. There are some simple eateries scattered about.
- Yamamoto's Udon [eating house] a kind of Japanese noodle / 10a.m.-4p.m. / closed on Sunday / capacity 20
- Goto's bakery [shop] bread, sandwich, cake / 10a.m-5p.m.? / closed on Sunday
- Kohrozen [eating house and minshuku] / closed on Sunday / capacity 10-15?
- Iwata's confectionery [shop] cake, Japanese style sweets
- New Olympia [eating house] fish dish, sushi, sashimi / about 5p.m.-9p.m. / closed on Sunday / capacity 30-40?
- Henkotsu-en [yakiniku house] Japanese style barbeque indoor / about 6p.m.-9p.m. / capacity 20?
- Shimaya [stall] chaoz, takoyaki (octpus ball) / 10a.m-5p.m. / closed on Thursday
- Café Ougiya [café] udon, curry & rice etc. / Sunday-Saturday 10a.m.-8p.m. /capacity 20 /inside of Marine Station Naoshima(2006) designed by SANAA
- Fukushi center (Naoshima General Welfare Centre) [public facility] table d'hote (set meal), udon etc. / APR-SEP 10a.m.-7p.m. / OCT-MAR 10.a.m.-6p.m. / closed on Monday,Tuesday (open on Tuesday during JUL-OCT) / capacity 30
- Fuji shokudo [tiny eatery] capacity 3-5
- Rien [souvenir shop] pilaf, coffee / 10a.m.-5p.m. / closed irregulary / capacity 6 / joined with 007 museum
- Takoyaki Fuuchan [stall and 2 tables] takoyaki (octpus ball), fried chicken, chow mein / 10a.m.-7p.m. / closed on Tuesday basically
- Café Saya [café] UNDER CONSTRUCTION open due 27th Oct
- Café Maruya [Japanese style café] 11a.m-6p.m. (lo 5p.m.) / closed on basically *Monday, open on Japanese holiday Monday instead closed on following *Tuesday / capacity 8-10
- Genmai Shinshoku (Brown Rice Hearty Eatery) "Aisunao" [eating house] brown rice ball, somen noodle etc. / 11a.m-6p.m. / closed on Monday / capacity 20
- Mino [rice ball take-out] packed 3 rice balls, ice-cream cone / 10a.m-4p.m.
- Oomiyake [café] coffee, parfait, pizza, someimes Tajin curry & rice / closed irregulary / capacity 20 / French speakers are especially welcomed
- Benesse House restaurant (inside Benesse House museum) reservation required for most menu items
- Benesse House café - currently drinks only
- Benesse House Terrace restaurant
- Tsutsuji-so [public facility managed by Benesse Art Site Naoshima] qeema curry, hot sandwich, coffee / [Note] Pao(Ger) accommodations of former Seaside Park have moved to Tsutsuji-so, and they renewed since 25 Apr. 2006.
- Naoshima Tsuri Kouen (Naoshima Fishing Garden) sashimi of sea bream and a bowl o rice,curry and rice served on weekend, National holidays only / closed on Tuesday
Benesse House menu and busines hours are very complicated, so see its website please.
The best place to stay is near the two museums, but there are a few other accommodation options scattered around the island.
The island has half a dozen or so low-key minshuku and simple ryokan. It can be hard to find a vacancy, so reserving in advance is recommended.
Recently Benesse's new hotel accommodates about 100 people is under construction in former Seaside Park lot, that is due to open 20 May 2006.
- Hotel Benesse House. Rates start from ¥27,720 and climb up from there. Bennesse House is composed of two magnificent buildings designed by Internationally renowned architect Tadao Ando. The buildings are composed of the main house, and a more recently added annex. There are a small number of rooms in each, and they book up several months in advance, particularly on weekends in the Spring and Fall, but are well worth the cost.
Naoshima is far enough off the beaten track to require a little preparation. English speakers are few. There are no banks nor exchange bureaus to exchange foreign currency, and credit cards generally cannot be used for payment (Benesse House and Chichu Art Museum being the major exceptions). Most shops close in the early evening and most of them close entirely on Sundays. There are no convenience stores either.