直島・小豆島の旅2023(前) Trip to Naoshima

地元情報 Local Info.


I went on a trip to Naoshima and Shodoshima for two days.


The perfect day for the voyage. Bye, Takamatsu.


Arrived at Noashima. Although it was a Saturday, I thought there would be few tourists in cold winter, but there were surprisingly many such as young student groups, middle-aged couples, Westerners, Taiwanese, and Korean tourists.


From the Miyanoura area where the port is located, I moved to the Hommura area by an overcrowded local bus. It’s lunchtime and I chose a Japanese-style cafe named “Aisunao”.


I really enjoyed their set meal. The rice is organic chewy brown rice, and it was so delicious. As it is a vegan-friendly set meal, the soup is made from soybeans and miso. All the side dishes are also special. Definitely recommended!

玄米心食あいすなお Aisunao



Arrived at the east gate of the museum area from the Hommura area in 30 minutes on foot. I took a look at Gotanji Beach nearby the gate. The beach has toilets and coin-operated showers, as well as lodging facilities. Good to swim and relax in Naoshima.

Gotanji Beach


杉本博司ギャラリー 時の回廊

I had been to Naoshima several times already, but last year, some art sites opened in 2022, so I wanted to visit them. One of them is the Hiroshi Sugimoto Gallery Time Corridor. You can have tea and Japanese sweets while looking at the glass tea room.

Hiroshi Sugimoto Gallery: Time Corridors


Another new art site is the Valley Gallery. Yayoi Kusama’s mirror balls are placed mysteriously in Tadao Ando’s architecture.



The Valley Gallery extends outside the building, and don’t miss the Slag Buddha 88 there. These statues had been exhibited as outdoor works before the Valley Gallery was opened. Although they were not very famous, I liked the context of the production that expresses the reality of the islands, so I have introduced them to Wakabaya’s guests.

Valley Gallery


地中美術館 ナイトプログラム

Another purpose of visiting Naoshima was to experience the island at night. I attended the night program of the Chichu Art Museum, which is held every Friday and Saturday only. We spend a quiet 45 minutes at sunset in “Open Sky” by James Turrell and look over the sky gradually changing from day to night through the square-cut ceiling. Photography is prohibited. This is not for everyone, but it was a precious 45 minutes for me to experience the sunset.

Chichu Art Museum Night Program


After the night program ended, I walked back to the Miyanoura district in 30 minutes through the dark mountains and the coastal roads. There was no bus, and too late to return a rental bicycle. So, I had no choice but to walk. This is the Naoshima Pavilion on the way. You can enjoy a completely different vibe from the daytime.

宿は直島九龍(クーロン)。もともと、ドミトリー in 九龍という名前で営業していた、直島では老舗のゲストハウスです。2022年にリニューアルしてすべて個室のゲストハウスになっています。

I checked in Naoshima Kowloon, which was renewed in 2022.


I stayed in this colorful twin room alone. The building looks old, but it was newly renovated and well-cleaned.

直島九龍 Naoshima Kowloon

直島で宿が多い宮ノ浦地区と本村地区にはカフェやバーなどの飲食店も多くありますが、私が選んだのはこちらの居酒屋「百風亭(ちくりん)」です。入ると、島のおばあさん3人組が揃ってタバコを吸いながらビールを飲み、その横で観光客カップルが食事をしていました。ひとりのおばあさんが私に向かって、「ここに座り」と口ではいわずに、足で蹴って椅子をよこしてくれました。「よし、この店にして正解だ」と確信しました。瓶ビール、煮魚、ご飯と味噌汁を注文しました。うん、うまい。店内にはさらに、漁師でしょう、すでに目がうつろで酔っ払った常連客が流れ込んできて、「油は満タン! 明日はメバル!」と息巻いています。直島に泊まらなければ、こんな島の日常に触れることができたでしょうか。

There are many tourist-friendly cafes and bars in the Miyanoura area, but I chose a small izakaya named “Chikurin”.  The smoking cook was chatting with the local old ladies smoking and drinking beer. And a young tourist couple was having dinner there. One of the old ladies kicked a chair to give me it. “Yes, I did it!” I was excited to find the authentic local place in Naoshima. I ordered a bottled beer, boiled fish, rice, and miso soup. All tasty. While eating, another drunken local regular customer came, probably a fisherman, and yelled “The fuel is full! Tomorrow, rockfish!” If I hadn’t stayed overnight in Naoshima, would I have experienced such a daily night time on the island?

百風亭(ちくりん) Chikurin


直島銭湯 I♥湯

After that, went to Naoshima public bath on the way back to the guesthouse. I had been there before, but it was completely different at night. Shinro Ohtake’s avant-garde neon lights glow vividly at night, not in the daytime. Stay in Miynoura or in Hommura? Hommura has a Japanese traditional townscape. Miyanoura has a big port with more frequent boat lines, a convenience store, and the bath is a big advantage. I would go to Shodoshima the next day.

Naoshima Bath “I♥︎湯”

直島・小豆島の旅2023(後) Trip to Shodoshima