From exploring contemporary art installations to trying your hand at traditional origami and kimono dyeing, discover the importance of art and design in Japanese culture...
Naoshima – Naoshima is an art island in the Seto Inland Sea; an incredible, quirky place with a really interesting history. Wander or cycle around its galleries and outdoor sculpture parks exhibiting the works of international modern masters. There are about 50 modern art installations outdoors, as well as super contemporary museums and some extraordinary permanent exhibitions. The only place to stay on the island itself gets booked up months in advance so early booking is recommended. Do also make time to visit the smaller nearby art islands.
Echigo Tsumari – Echigo Tsumari Art Field covers an outdoor area of 760km2; rice fields and forests of native beech trees, dotted with an array of artwork and installations, focussed on connecting people with local nature and culture and encouraging a more creative relationship with the environment. The experience is fascinating and shows a side of Japan that few people see.
The Kubota Itchiku Museum - Kubota Itchiku was an artist who dedicated his life to the revival of the lost art of kimono silk dyeing (Tsujigahana). The incredible artform of painting elaborate, detailed and symbolic patterns on silk cloths disappeared after its height in the Muromachi Period (1333-1537). Visit the museum devoted to Itchiku, located in a forest on the edge of Lake Kawaguchiko with a panoramic view of Mount Fuji. The museum itself is beautiful, constructed of coral and limestone, with a timber framed gallery at its heart. Set within extensive gardens that were also designed by Itchiku, it’s worth wandering through the gardens, where a number of other art installations can be found.
There are many museums and galleries both in Japan’s main cities and dotted throughout rural Japan but we can also arrange for you to visit individual artisans in their workshops, specialists who have devoted their lives to the pursuit of just one craft. Call our team to find out more.
Every time I explore a new destination, whether it’s on an adventure holiday in Peru or a luxury beach escape in the Indian Ocean, I return home full of excitement to share the amazing sights I have seen. Through my own experiences I have developed a love of helping others experience the great wonders of the world; truly getting under the skin of the extraordinary destinations that are at your fingertips. Getting the details right, from which hotel is perfectly located for exploring away from the crowds, to which local guide is most knowledgeable on history or culture or art, is of paramount importance to me. I am constantly seeking out new and exciting experiences and exploring off the beaten track to ensure my clients are receiving the best and most honest first-hand advice.
Take a look at my travel diaries for food for thought on your next trip...