A sneaky shot in one of the Art House Projects
Bike Riding: One major tip I can give is to rent a bike, there is no better way to get around. I would get one as soon as you hope of the boat, because we got ours from the Honmura area and they were gear-less and a bit tragic, however the ones from Takamatsu port were fully functioning, geared, and well kept.
Benesse House: The was a beautiful museum, however if you want the full effect you will need to stay in their accommodation. I assume their rooms are beautiful, but at around $300AUD per night, we could not afford it at all! By not staying their, as we only realized on arrival, we were unable to visit the Benesse House Oval (google for amazing images), which was a big shame. What we did get to see at the Museum was amazing. We arrived quite late, but knew the museum was said to be done in about an hour. I think that time is pretty much right, if you dashed through you could be out in 45 minutes, or leasuire walk about for 2 hours. If you love modern art than this, and Naoshima as a whole, is a MUST see.
Lee Ufan Museum: This is one of those museums that can make you feel something just from staying at the door. It is never over crowded, to ensure that each room can be fully enjoyed. The final installment is a room with strange angled walls and minimal imagery, which is perfect for laying on the ground or in a meditation position. The museum is another must see of Naoshima.
Chichu Art Museum: This was my favourite of all the museums we visited. It has a great array of art, from the seriously modern and evoking art of James Turrell, to the unchanged beauty of Clause Monet. Tadao Ando design a lot of the architecture around Naoshima, and this museum shows of his skill imperceptibly. There are rooms were you will have to remove your shoes, so if you want to wear ones that can be easily slipped off. If you don't want to there are always ample ares to sit comfortably and remove your shoes, this was designs so ergonomically that it makes my design side squeal. The views outside the museum are just as breath taking, and can been seen clearly while dining at the restaurant. There was not one thing I could fault with this place, and it will forever hold a place in my heart. My only regret was not buying the limited edition perfume located in the gift shop, which was based on Monet's artwork and smelt divine.
Ando Museum: Achitecture lovers rejoice, its not all about modern art here! This is so cheap to enter (500 yen), and you could easily spend 2 hours or more reading through Ando's entire life. He has had such a huge impact on Naoshima, and is one of them main reasons it is such a beautiful haven for artists now. I think this would be a miss for the younger art enthusiasts, but if you can make the time please do go.
Art House Projects: These are great to bike ride around, with each being so unique there is no way you wont enjoy them. Located around the island, each is unique by is context and artist impression. there are seven in total, however you may need to book to enter some. My favorite was probably Minamedira, but that because I have such a physical response to James Turrell's work. I even think small children would enjoy these projects, and again a MUST SEE of Naoshima.
Dining: I do not think you can go wrong as long as you stick to the Takamatsu port area. We hopped from one to the other for drinks and food and all had their own unique atmosphere and flavours. Shioya Diner was a favourite of mine, with a home-like feel (their daughter took her piano lesson just with just a curtain between us) and delicious food, I found a nice and tidy blog post on them here.
Celebrating at a local cafe