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Japan’s surreal ‘art island’, Naoshima is a small islet in the Seto Inland Sea, renowned for its modern art museums, architecture and sculptures. Though the island itself is sleepy, the structures are high-tech, high spec and made of reinforced concrete; minimalist styling allows the art to take centre stage. Despite its contemporary appearance the island is refreshingly backward in actual tech (no televisions, or internet reception, for example). With the atmosphere of a calm, meditative shrine you’ll feel more like you’re in the hushed surroundings of an ancient museum and you’ll even be asked to sign a waiver passing the right to take photographs or post updates on social media. You may have already seen some of the art that’s on display; the giant pumpkin, for example, hasn’t escaped social media, and the 88 buddhas created from industrial waste are a highlight. Everywhere around the combination of light and water creates a different aspect and, depending on the weather and the time of day, a different perspective on the installations.
In short, Naoshima is bonkers, but after the chaos of Tokyo and the quiet of the mountains it’s an ideal blend of the two; there’s barely any cars and you’ll certainly not tire of things to look at.
Best time to be there
Spring (late March to April) for cherry blossom, early summer (May to early June) for warm sunshine, autumn (October to November) for sunny weather and spectacular colours.
Osaka/ Tokyo Narita and Haneda (Japan Airlines, British Airways)
12 hours 30 minutes from London
GMT +9 hours
Not required for UK passport holders
No vaccinations required
Our experts can tailor-make the perfect holiday to suit your individual requirements, however, if you need inspiration or a starting point, below are some of our suggested trips and experiences:
Below are some of our suggested places to stay:
Annie, Brandon, Debbie, Margaret, Vicky Hamlin, Vicky Smith and Rachel - are experts in designing travel experiences across the region to suit your personal needs, interests and budget. Their intimate knowledge of every hotel and resort featured in our Orient, India, Australasia and Indian Ocean portfolio, together with our own network of offices throughout these areas, allows us to offer unique in-depth knowledge, unparalleled insider access and the VIP service for which Abercrombie & Kent is renowned.
Read about our lastest experiences in our Travel Blog pages.
To find out more about our Orient team, click on the consultant links below or call them on 01242 547 704 or enquire online
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Your consultant, Victoria Smith, was outstanding. She has an excellent knowledge of Japan and answered all of our many questions. When we asked her to alter a few parts of our itinerary she did so efficiently and quickly. She was always enthusiastic and was an absolute delight to deal with. She is an excellent advert for Abercrombie & Kent and we could not be more grateful to her for arranging our truly wonderful holiday.
- PD, Surrey