In Southern Japan, in the area around the Shikoku region, there is a small island called Naoshima that is a Mecca for artists and art lovers.
This tiny island of only 8 square kilometers attracts tourists from all over the world with its artistic atmosphere. Once home to a fishing village and a sizeable salt farming industry, the island’s fate changed abruptly when industrial chemicals spilt into the sea. The ecosystem became heavily damaged and the locals moved away, leaving their island deserted for many years.
In 1985, many stakeholders came up with the idea of restoring the island to revive its livelihood and completely change the island's direction by rejecting heavy industry. There were many proposals for reviving the island, including the creation of high-end hotels, museums, art projects and other projects. Tetsuhiko Fukutake, the founder of publishing company Benesse Holdings, Inc., was a leader of the restoration, with the concept of harmonious co-existence between an art community and nature.
Today Naoshima has blossomed, with contemporary art projects in almost every corner. The leader's vision of change has led to the construction of educational camp and schools, and restoration of old houses in consideration of contemporary art style. You will see beauty and style everywhere you look.
Through the aesthetics of the art, sky, water and clouds, the island has opened its arms for visitors to familiarize themselves with it. Yellow and red pumpkin sculptures, an important landmark that lures trippers to take selfies, are one of the masterpieces by Yayoi Kusama, a world-class pop art artist.
The highlight of the island is the Chichu Art Museum, which is an underground labyrinth! You read it right! It was built entirely underground in the most beautiful corner of the island. Chichu Art Museum is designed by "Tadao Ando", a famous Japanese architect who always tries to connect architecture with nature under his crystallization thinking process, taking into account the aim of living a good life.
Being on this island, you will understand that art does not compete with nature for greatness. Instead, they blend together to become part of each other.
Thai Airways provides direct flights from Suvarnabhumi Airport to Osaka and Fukuoka Airports, both near to Naoshima Island.