Naoshima

I've fallen behind in my posts again! I have a lot of new work to post, but I also have some awesome photos from some of my favorite places in Japan. Today I have photos from Naoshima; which is a small Island located between Honshu (the biggest island) and Shikoku (the smallest). My Aunt and I traveled to and around Shikoku for a week and spent a fantastic day on Naoshima. My art teacher recommended this island because it has 2 art museums as well as a series of old houses that have been transformed into installations. Shikoku has some of the best mikan I've ever tasted so we kept buying bags of them and eating them. Here are some growing on a tree.

We took one of the first morning ferries from Takamatsu (where we were staying) and headed to the island. With the help of some nice Japanese people we rented some bikes. The island was pretty easy to navigate with one main road that looped around the perimeter of the island. we made our way to the art houses. The installations had a very wide range in subject matter and materials. Here's one of my favorites.
Details from the houses we visited 

These houses were a series of traditional houses and spaces that were no longer being used. The artists were asked to create installations within the spaces and alter the original structure. 

The art house project as well as the museums on Naoshima are part of a campaign to bring art and tourism to these islands. As someone who is not Japanese there were times while living in Japan that I felt I was missing the point. (being a tourist in Japan can be frustrating with the lack of English signs and my poor knowledge of Japanese history)A few of the houses fell into that category but most of them did translate and were really fun to experience with my Aunt! We stopped near one of the houses at a small cafe and shared some dessert and coffee. It came with a tiny cup of cream and sugar and a biscuit.
Our dessert was red beans and different types of jelly with a syrup you could pour over the whole thing. It was light and fruity tasting!
We continued on our way and checked out the last installations. This piece was a Shinto shrine and perhaps the most beautiful of the series. These steps that look like ice were made of the same type of glass that camera lenses are made of.
I liked this sign too! The only kanji I recognize on it are for mountain and fire... hmmm
We made our way around the island and road by the museums. These giant gourds are one of the big landmarks of the island so we went and photographed it just as the sun was setting. My aunt near the gourd!
Now that's a big gourd!
Sun setting as we biked back to the dock

And in the next post... Photos and awesome posters from the Naoshima Bath! Complete with life size baby elephant!