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Naoshima One Day Tour – The Holy Island of Contemporary Art

8:30 hours
up to 4 people
Japanese ( Native ), English ( License )
Private tour (only you and your guide)

Located in the quiet and tranquil Seto Inland Sea, a small island, Naoshima is full of contemporary arts and architectures.
While you enjoy viewing the beautiful Seto Inland Sea, a 50-minute cruise takes you to the island from Takamatsu Port in Shikoku.
We'll visit various art sites and architectures designed by young hopeful artists, great masters of art, and world-famous architects.


Feel free to personalize this offer with Aki.

  • Cruise on the serene and beautiful Seto Inland Sea
  • Visit the museums – Benesse House Museum, Lee Ufan Museum, and Chichu Art Museum
  • Appreciate the outdoor works – Red and Yellow Pumpkins, Naoshima Pavilion, and so on
  • Visit Honmura district, the place of Art House Project
  • View the wonderful landscapes such as natural scenes and traditional town streets

Want to personalize this tour?

  • Our tours can be customized according to your needs and preferences
  • Click below to tell us what you are looking for:
Customize & Get a Quote

What to Expect

The name of the island dates back to the late 12th century when a retired emperor named the small island Naoshima meaning an island of gentle residents. Today, Naoshima is regarded as a holy land of contemporary art, drawing a lot of people both from home and abroad.

Why so? Artists and architects have sympathized a project aiming at creating significant spaces by bringing contemporary arts and architectures in resonance with the pristine nature of the Seto Inland Sea, a landscape with a rich cultural and historical fabric.

Naoshima is a major venue of Setouchi Triennale, a contemporary art festival held every three years in the Seto Inland Sea area. The next one will be held in 2019.

We visit three areas in Naoshima to appreciate the outstanding works created by distinguished artists and architects.

1. Benesse House Area
There are three museums all designed by a worldly notable architect, Tadao Ando who is a winner of Pritzker Prize regarded as Nobel Prize in architecture.
- Benesse House Museum
Built on high ground overlooking the Seto Inland Sea, the museum features artworks found not just within its galleries, but in neighboring areas such as the seashore and the nearby forest.
- Lee Ufan Museum
Located in a gentle valley surrounded by hills and the sea, the museum exhibits the works of an internationally acclaimed artist, Lee Ufan, offering a tranquil space where nature, architecture, and art come in resonance with each other.
- Chichu Art Museum
Built mostly underground to avoid harming the natural landscapes, the museum houses the artworks by Claude Monet, James Turrell, and Walter De Maria. The architecture itself can be seen as a very large site-specific artwork.

2. Honmura Area
The Art House Project is underway in Honmura area where empty houses are being renovated and turned into art sites. The area has ANDO MUSEUM that is 100-year-old traditional wooden house renovated by Tadao Ando. You can learn about Ando's works through photographs, sketches, and models, and see how the museum itself has revived this venerable old house.

3. Miyanoura Port Area
Miyanoura is the main port of Naoshima, where ferries come and go. Around the port, there are several artworks including conspicuous Red Pumpkin designed by Yayoi Kusama and Naoshima Pavilion by Sou Fujimoto. The elegant terminal building, the Marine Station Naoshima, is designed by a star-architects’ unit, SANAA – Sejima And Nishizawa And Associates.

I was born and raised in Kagawa prefecture facing the Seto Inland Sea.
Therefore, it’s my pleasure to guide you around Naoshima!

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Departure & Return

Depart From Kagawa, Takamatsu, Okayama
Starting time 08:30 AM ( recommended )   Flexible
Meeting Point At Takamatsu Port, JR Takamatsu, Okayama, Uno Stations, Miyanoura Port in Naoshima, or at your hotel in Naoshima and Takamatsu
Ending Point At Takamatsu Port, JR Takamatsu Station, Miyanoura Port in Naoshima, or at your hotel in Naoshima

Inclusions & Exclusions

What‘s included

guide fee, hotel pick-up(in this case, please pay the guide's transportation fare from your hotel)

What‘s not included

transportation fare(you and guide), admission fee(you and guide), meals


This tour will be available when I stay in my home prefecture, Kagawa, a gateway to Naoshima. Therefore, please contact me to confirm the tour's availability in advance. I would appreciate it if you could give me an inquiry about the availability at least two weeks before the day of the tour.

I can guide you in Okinawa and Kagawa including Naoshima and the other venues of Setouchi Triennale.
If you would be interested in being guided by me in those places, please contact me to confirm my availability in advance.

This tour is not conducted on Mondays, because the museums are usually closed on Mondays.

Cancellation Policy

  • Free cancellation - 30 days prior to meeting date
  • 50% Refund - 15 to 29 days prior to meeting date
  • No Refund - Within 14 day(s) prior to meeting date

Frequently Asked Questions

Besides guide fee, how much does it cost for a one-day tour?

Although the cost varies according to our itinerary, a typical cost is approximately 10,000 JPY, or $90 USD per person.
For example, if you visit most of the art sites, the total cost comes to 10,130 JPY per person approximately.
- transportation fare: Approx. 3,000 JPY (High-speed boat and bus, for a round trip)
- admission fee to two museums(Chichu Art Museum, Lee Ufan Museum): 3,090 JPY
- admission fee to Art House Project and ANDO MUSEUM: 1,540 JPY
- lunch: 2,500 JPY
For more details, please refer to the Questions and Answers below.

How long does it take to get to Naoshima?

From Takamatsu Port, Kagawa prefecture,
It takes approximately 50 minutes by ferry or 25 minutes by high-speed boat.
The one-way fares are,
- Ferry: Adult 520 JPY, Child 260 JPY
- High-speed boat: Adult 1,220 JPY, Child 610 JPY
Takamatsu Port is located approximately 5 minutes walk away from JR Takamatsu Station, or 40 minutes car ride from Takamatsu Airport.

From Uno Port, Okayama prefecture,
It takes approximately 20 minutes by ferry. The one-way fares are Adult:290 JPY and Child:150 JPY.
Uno Port is located approximately 5 minutes walk away from JR Uno Station, accessible by train from JR Okayama Station, taking approximately 50 minutes.

How do we get around Naoshima?

We'll use bus to go to each area. Public bus and free shuttle bus services are available hourly.
The public bus fares are Adult:100 JPY and Child:50 JPY per a ride.
If you like, we can use rental bicycles. The average fee is approximately 1,500 JPY per day for renting a bike with a electric motor.
Walking is not always recommended, because the island has many ups and downs.

How much are the admission fees of the museums in Naoshima?

Chichu Art Museum:
- 2,060 JPY, free for children 15 and under
Benesse House Museum:
- 1,030 JPY, free for children 15 and under, and overnight guests at Benesse House
Lee Ufan Museum:
- 1,030 JPY, free for children 15 and under
- 510 JPY, free for children 15 and under
Art House Project:
- Multi-Site ticket for six art houses: 1,030 JPY, free for children 15 and under
- Single-Site ticket for one art house: 410 JPY, free for children 15 and under

What is the price range of lunch in Naoshima?

There are various types of restaurants serving many kinds of cuisines.
The typical price ranges per person are, for example,
- A Western-style restaurant: 1,500 yen to 3,000 yen
- A Japanese style restaurant: 1,500 yen to 3,000 yen
- A noodle shop: 1,000 yen approximately

Can you shorten the tour duration?

Yes, I can shorten the duration and reduce guide fee according to your request.
In this case, please contact me before booking. I'll offer you a customized tour based on your request.

What’s a recommended itinerary for this tour?

For example:

08:30 am
-Meet at the Takamatsu Port.
-Board a high-speed boat to Naoshima

09:05 - 09:35
-Move to Naoshima by high-speed boat

09:35 - 10:00
-Arrive at Miyanoura Port in Naoshima
-Move to Honmura Area by bus

10:00 - 12:30
-Visit Honmura Area
This area is the central area of Naoshima, retaining the old houses and townscapes.
The Art House Project is underway in the area where empty houses are being renovated and turned into art sites.
The area has ANDO MUSEUM, 100-year-old traditional wooden house renovated by a world-famous architect, Tadao Ando.
-Have lunch in Honmura area

12:30 - 13:00
-Move to Benesse House Area by bus

13:00 - 14:45
-Visit Chichu Art Museum built mostly underground to avoid affecting the natural scenery of the Seto Inland sea.
Artworks by Claude Monet, James Turrell, and Walter De Maria are on display in this building designed by Tadao Ando.
-Visit Lee Ufan Museum
Lee Ufan Museum is made with the collaboration between internationally acclaimed artist Lee Ufan and architect Tadao Ando.

14:45 - 15:30
-Move to Miyanoura Area by bus

15:30 - 16:25
-Visit an art site, Naoshima Bath "I love Yu" near the port
-Board a high-speed boat to Takamatsu

16:25 - 16:55
-Move to Takamatsu Port by high-speed boat
-At the port, our tour will end.

Can you guide me to the other venues of Setouchi Triennale?

Yes, I can.
I can offer you a customized tour for Setouchi Triennale. Please contact me for more details.

Can you escort me to my hotel?

Yes, I can. If your hotel is located in Takamatsu, please pay Hotel escort fee.
Guide’s transportation fare to the place is also required to be paid.

Can you arrange a private boat to Naoshima? How much does it cost for a boat?

Yes, I can arrange a private boat according to your request.
The cost varies, depending on the type of boat.
For example, it costs approximately $220 USD for a round trip between Takamatsu and Naoshima.

Can you pick me up at Takamatsu Airport?

Yes, I can.
Please pay Airport pick-up fee when you book.

Can I make changes after I book?

Yes! If you need to make changes such as removing or adding someone to your booking or changing the date or time of your tour, contact us by phone or email

Starting and ending points of the tour.

After you secure your booking, the starting and ending points of your tour can be customized to your convenience (ex.: your hotel, nearby stations, etc.). Don't worry, we will take care of you! Some tours may have an extra fee for this service, make sure to check the tour page.

What happens after I book a tour?

After booking a tour, the guide will accept (or decline) your booking within 24 hours. Then you will be noticed by email from Triplelights.

Is the price per person or per group?

The price is charged per group. Which means that you make a one-time payment for your entire group and the price will not change if it is less or more people.

Can I add more people to my booking?

Some guides accept extra people (more than the specified number) for an extra charge. Please check for the extras on the tour or booking page, or contact your guide directly to clarify.

Will there be other tourists in my tour?

No. Your tour is private, only for you and your family or friends, there will be no other group of tourists together in your tour.

Can the guide pickup me at the airport?

Yes, but there will be additional charge for that and it is not by car. The guide will go pick you up using public transportations. For further details, please contact your guide directly.

I'm travelling alone. Can I book this tour?

Yes, you can and you may be able to get a discount if you are traveling alone. Price depends on which guide you choose.

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Reviews ( 48 )
4.7 (48) Reviews
Very Good
jerry Jerry United States ( Couple )
1 month ago

“ Invaluable ”

We spent three days with Aki, exploring the Setouchi Trienniale , using Takamatsu as a home base. We never could have done this without him. We had a great time. Thanks again Aki.


Dear Jerry, Thank you so much for giving me such an excellent rating and review! I enjoyed touring around the Setouchi islands and had a wonderful time with you too. Thanks for coming to Takamatsu and having me as your guide! Sincerely, Akio

Jerome Jerome Israel ( Couple )
2 months ago

“ Aki gave us a great opportunity to experience Kamakura in a tight schedule ”

We had only 5 hours to visit Kamakura....and gave Aki an almost impossible mission. He succeeded! We saw all of the major sites and enjoyed the wonderful explanations that Aki provided with clear and nuanced English.


Dear Jerome, Thank you so much for giving me such an excellent rating and review! That's very nice of you to say. I hope you are all fine after the tour on a hot day. It was my pleasure to have guided you around Kamakura. Thanks for choosing me as your tour guide! Sincerely, Aki

Robin Robin United States ( Friends )
6 months ago

“ Aki provided all we had hoped ”

Aki was a great guide. He took us to all the places we were interested in and was flexible in his plans given our interests and needs. He clearly knew his way around the island and all the museums. Couldn't have asked for more.


Dear Robin, Thank you so much for taking the time to give me such an excellent review! It was my pleasure to have guided you around Naoshima. I enjoyed touring with you too. It was fun to bike around the island! I hope you enjoyed your stay on the beautiful island. Thanks for coming to Naoshima and choosing me as your tour guide! Sincerely, Aki

Janis Janis United States ( Friends )
6 months ago

“ Naoshima Island ”

From Osaka, with Aki guiding us, we arrived on Naoshima. If it weren’t for Aki I’m afraid we’d still be wandering aimlessly around. While on the island; Aki’s knowledge of the architect represented here and the designers/artists was great. With his guidance we could just follow as had clear understanding Of how to navigate the island. This provided a pleasureable day. As I got a sense of his services and then began arranging the itinerary, Aki was incredibly quick in his responses to my many online questions. He speaks English very well. One can’t go wrong with Aki’s guidance


Dear Janis, Thank you so much for giving me such an excellent review! It's a great pleasure for me to have guided you around a beautiful island, Naoshima. I also enjoyed touring and had a pleasant time with you. It was very nice to meet you! I hope you have a good day and go back to your home safely. Please convey my regards to your husband and friends. Thanks for coming to Naoshima and choosing me as your tour guide! Sincerely, Aki

Kelli Kelli Japan
6 months ago

“ Tour of Nikko ”

Aki was a very knowledgeable and accommodating tour guide! We had to reduce our time in Nikko by an hour and Aki was able to manage the schedule with ease while still covering everything we wanted to see. We learned a lot and a had beautiful day exploring. I would absolutely recommend him as a guide!


Dear Kelli, Thank you so much for giving me such an excellent review! I’m very happy to hear that you enjoyed a day in Nikko. I enjoyed touring with you too. I hope you are all fine after a day tour on a hot day. Thanks for coming to Nikko and choosing me as your tour guide! Sincerely, Aki

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