Eye Candy

Naoshima: Japan's Island of Art

by Ruby Nichols

Yayoi Kusama's Pumpkin. Photo by Ruby Nichols

Fashionable Fathom contributor Ruby Nichols recently ventured to Japan to discover and photograph design awesomeness for her Almanac of Style blog. She landed on the magical island of Naoshima, a place where nature, art, and architecture meet.

NAOSHIMA, Japan – Floating in the Seto Inland Sea of southern Japan is a relatively unkown gem known as Naoshima, a.k.a. Art Island. It's a breathtaking wonderland of museums, installations, and outdoor sculptures that reveal themselves around every corner.

The creative enterprise is a result of efforts by the Benesse Corporation — one of the largest education companies in Japan —that began in the late '80s and includes works by Yayoi Kusama, James Turrell, and David Hockney, in buildings designed by starchitect Tadao Ando.

Part of what makes Art Island so special is the fact that it's hard to reach. We took three trains and a ferry from Osaka, then biked around the entire island to visit museums along the coast. But we were able to do it all in one day! We spent the night in a Naoshima ryokan called Cottage Ohana.

Here's a visual tour of the highlights.

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