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“Not what I had expected”
Review of Naoshima

Certificate of Excellence
Attraction details
Reviewed 21 March 2014

We went to Naoshima for the art, which was kind of disappointing. Some nice art work but nothing we hadn't already seen elsewhere. All quite randomly selected and presented. They seem to have gone for the famous rather than the inventive. Entrance fee are very high for the very few pieces of art that are presented, especially at Chichu Art Museum. If you are really into architecture though, then the trip is worth it. The museum buildings overshadow the art, but taken for themselves, they're great. Be prepared that the trip to the island is a hassle and once you're there you still have to find your way to the museums, which are quite far from the port. Signage could be better. Overall not quite what I had expected after reading and hearing excited reports about Naoshima. But: Food at the Benesse House formal restaurant was excellent (if you love Japanese food) and reasonably priced for the very good quality and careful presentation you get.

2  Thank Sara S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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122 - 126 of 425 reviews

Reviewed 6 March 2014

Amazing art and architecture. Fantastic scenery and surroundings. Lovely locals and great accommodation. Just the perfect place for art lovers.

1  Thank pollyoppy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 17 February 2014

Really enjoyed our three days on the island. It snowed! Beautiful and rare. There were not many people so we got to experience the art in intimate privacy. Art everywhere!

1  Thank patinbkk
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 26 December 2013

The reviews that talk about expense are correct - I'm paying the price for a 5 star hotel and I can't get any food (easily) - its a car ride away. Its all just a little bit disorganised. I think my expectations were so high that I've been severely disappointed. For the price I'm paying (equivalent of a 5* in Tokyo) - I expected the shuttle bus to meet the ferry; for there to be a way to get food (and not western food). There are no TVs in the room - which I don't normally watch BUT I'm on an island with no nightlife, nothing to see or do outside the museums and it gets dark at 5pm. I think we need some options other than reading a good book. No WiFi or internet in the rooms.

As the island is dedicated to art I would have thought there was a pack to explain the art to you - there is a map. And eventually if you gather enough pieces of paper you can work out which art is where. But the general approach is "there's an area with some art in it in a museum/old Japanese house/bathhouse" - you should visit it. No info about what art, which artists, materials etc. Its really turn up and see what you see.

The museums are expensive - I just paid $20 to go to the ChiChu museum - I don't think I've ever paid money like that even for a named artist. Its also stupid things like they don't warn you that you need to take your boots off in the Chi Chu for 2 of the major exhibits.... which in winter weather isn't that easy or practical. And the ticket office is a 3 min walk away from the museum. If I wasn't staying in Bennesse House I'm not sure how you can easily get around - its pouring with rain so walking is a very miserable option. At least as a guest there's a shuttle bus to ferry you around. It is stunning though - even in this stormy weather - I'd come back again just to see it in the sun and warm. But next time I'd bring supplies and my own car! BTW - I didn't have hassles getting here - 2 trains and the ferry - I think it feels odd because its all done via head bobbing and smiling but you get here.

2  Thank allsort
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 6 December 2013 via mobile

It's a pain getting here and it's not cheap! Staying on the island would be perfect and if you have the budget for it i'd allow a few days. We didn't have the budget and any way of getting there incurs expense. We went for a day trip getting a train from kyoto, switching to a local train and then getting the ferry. We managed to arrive on the island by 11am, spent the day cycling around before leaving the island at 5pm. It took some doing transport wise but it can be done and it is worth it! (packed lunch is a must).

1  Thank juzzaj
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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