Okayama / Naoshima – Island Wonders

Hello everyone,

So, Western Japan is kind of really amazing. I’ve spent the past 2 days at the gateway, per say, into the western mainland, staying in Okayama and visiting nearby Naoshima Island.

I’ve seen so many picturesque sights yesterday and today that it’s hard to put into words, so I will let some of the many pictures I took do most of the talking.

That is a lot of koi fish (Korakuen Garden)

That is a lot of koi fish (Korakuen Garden)

First, I spent yesterday walking around Okayama’s ‘culture zone’. Centered on Korakuen Garden, another one of Japan’s top three gardens, the area also leads to Okayama Castle, nicknamed the Crow’s Castle because of its black walls. Both the garden and castle really were something. It’s hard for me to describe how artistic all of these places are without you all actually having been there, so my advice is this: go to Japan!

Okayama Castle

Okayama Castle

Moving on, today I took a day-trip to Naoshima, an island in the Seto Inland Sea of Japan. The weather was perfect – sunny, clear skies, warm with a breeze. Naoshima is known as the modern art island, complete with bizarre creations plopped in the middle of beaches, plus whole futuristic houses full of displays. The island is small enough to walk around, so I opted for the more flexible and scenic option of walking along the coast and up to the museums.

Naoshima coastline

Naoshima coastline

One of the more famous installations is the Naoshima giant pumpkin (fake, of course). And that’s what it literally is. I had to wait for about 10 minutes to get a picture of just the pumpkin by itself and not with 3 girls hugging it and posing for their own photos.

That is a big pumpkin

That is a big pumpkin

I then went up to the Benesse House, the focal point of Naoshima’s modern art. The house, designed by a famous Japanese modern architect, has many floors and rooms full of paintings, sculptures, talking robots, rooms that have no roof and open into the sky above. Pictures are prohibited unfortunately, but if you ever make it to Japan (which, like I said earlier, you should if you want to be cool like me), you should definitely have Naoshima on your list.

Aside from the art displays, I spent a lot of time just enjoying the coastline views the island offered. As you may know, we don’t get many spectacular ocean views in good old Cincinnati, so I definitely took my time.

But enough of that, I’ll let you see a glimpse of what I saw:

Mmm coastline

Mmm coastline

More coastal goodness

More coastal goodness

 

Yup. This is awesome

Yup. This is awesome

Can't get enough of the sky/sea combo

Can’t get enough of the sky/sea combo

 

And some of the outside art:

Modern art is modern

Modern art is modern

I don't know what this is but it looks amazing!

I don’t know what this is but it looks amazing!

 

And lastly, back in front of Okayama Castle:

Hello there

Hello there

 

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5 responses to “Okayama / Naoshima – Island Wonders

  1. This so far is the crowning glory of ur trip, Bittu. Utterly speechless! I have to put Japan on my bucket list & u gotta be my guide! No one else will do πŸ˜‰
    Great nature pics & of course the castle looks so majestic…splly with u standing in front of it!
    Awesome modern art pieces just randomly set everywhere & the ‘pumpkin’…must be Halloween everyday in Naoshima!
    Luv always & JSK ❀
    Mom

  2. Bits all of your pictures look like perfect postcards!! So jealous but soo happy you’re having such a great time! πŸ™‚

  3. Amazing photographs of beaches, skyline, and castles, in Naoshima and nearby island. You might have to accompany us to Japan next year ! Be Safe and Healthy! Waiting for your next blog update. JSK JSJS

  4. Wow, what a picturesque Islands these are, simply beautiful pictures
    of beachline, coastline & palaces. Japanese people know what art
    is. I am getting more & more fascinated with Japan & it’s people.

  5. Great pictures! Looks like you forgot your shaving gear. Next time you visit an onsen let them know you need a shave…but be very careful with your instructions.

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