Leaving Kyoto on another rainy day was telling us to get onto our next destination and so off to the Shinkansen fast rail from Kyoto station, via Okayama and onto local trains from Okayama to chiyamchy and Uno for the ferry to Naoshima. all in all a three hour journey in the rain so not a lot to see. Arriving at the Port on Naoshima the bus was waiting to take us to The Benesse Art space and Park Hotel where the architecture of Ando was striking in it’s simplicity form and function in every aspect.
The room is stunning, the size of a large one bedroom unit and as it is a suite it is four times as big as our room in Kyoto…brilliant. we settled in and then took a walk up to the Museum for a bowl of pumpkin soup and a spot of external art spotting along the way. The sculptures are scattered all around the grounds and on the beach in parks and inside at various places. the whole area is an art space and therefore plenty to see tomorrow. Our first dinner at the terrace was a treat , the french inspired menu provided about 3 course plus appetisers, a palate cleanser pre desert cherry blossom jelly Sake sorbet with a cherry cream which was out of this world and a desert to die for that combined a thin chocolate top with holes in it to see the ice-cream and caramel glazed nut pieces in light chocolate sauce. need i say more.
We discovered the Chicu art museum the next day which was mostly weird but a few good pieces including a room of Monet’s great works and then went into the local village and had a brief look around before getting some miso soup for lunch. that afternoon we had amazing massages and it was a lovely chilled out day in the end that culminated in another awesome meal at the terrace and those crazy desserts again, and oh year the fish was also excellent we had each night. we planned a full day out the next day and started early at the village to see all the Art House Project which is sited in six different locations, some were lame but others were spectacular. Art its all in the eye of the beholder in the end. we wandered the streets got some cheery blossom scones and a curry for John’s early lunch, checked out the local temple and peeked into gardens and visited the local shrine that has a had a new arts touch.
The hills were alive with Azalea flowers and Sakura hidden in valleys.
It was then back to the Main Benesse Museum and a wander around its lofty halls and interesting pieces, mostly good some extra strange like the room of white on white paintings!!! and the tiny clay half open nut thing tied with a piece of cotton in a knot!!!!!! extra !!!!! the sculptures of the Art Space are everywhere inside outside, in parks, on the beach, jetties Staircases, hall ways etc so taking it all in was a journey in itself. dinner that night at Issen the Japanese restaurant located in the museum which ended up to be an eight course very yummy meal.