Naoshima Island, Japan
At a Glance
The best accommodation on the arty island Naoshima, with easy access to the staggering number of art galleries and exhibitions
Both a museum and a hotel, Benesse House is an extraordinary place to stay
Beautiful views as Benesse House is perched on the shores of Seto Island Sea
There's both French and Japanese dining, as well as a spa
Designed by renowned architect, Tadao Ando
Simple but stylish rooms that showcase works of art and brilliantly absorb the natural light and views
Best time to Visit
Good time to visit
Average time to visit
The best time to visit Naoshima is spring from March – May with pleasant warm temperatures and autumn from September – November when days will still be warm. The summer months from mid-June to early July can be very wet with torrential rain and July - August are the hottest months with high humidity. December – February is usually reasonable but temperatures can drop below freezing with snowfall.
Call us on 858 523 9000 to start planning your vacation to Benesse House or take a look at our itineraries to The Japanese Coast
Sitting opposite the Seto Inland Sea on the arty island of Naoshima, Benesse House feels more like an art gallery than a hotel and that's mostly because it is. It is a contemporary museum with rooms and is an extraordinary place to stay for art lovers.
Created by the incredibly well respected architect, Tadao Ando, Benesse House is the place to stay on the arty Japanese island of Naoshima. It brilliantly complements the natural surroundings and the blues of the Seto Inland Sea with its simple lines of concrete, glass and wood. The hotel isn't luxurious but it is stylish, functional and comfortable and most of the small complex has been designed to take in the sea views. Four buildings make up the property including Oval, Museum, Beach and Park. Availability is always very tight at Benesse House, and whilst we do everything to secure the best rooms, its just worth going with what you get as all the rooms are more than good enough.
Naoshima together with nearby Teshima and Inujima Island have become some of worlds most remarkable destinations for contemporary art and architecture, with humble beginnings that started 1987. Benesse House is at the forefront, showcasing some of the regions major art works, many of which wouldn't look out of place in the Tate Modern. Spend a couple of nights here and explore the dozens of galleries and exhibitions across these remarkable islands.
The rooms that display brilliant works of art are divided between the four main buildings; Oval, Museum, Beach and Park. We personally like Oval but it is much further away (by monorail) from the museum and the rooms book up very far in advance. Rooms are simple, functional and stylish but are not upscale. They are a canvas for displaying art so don't expect fussy luxuries.
There are two restaurants; Terrace (French) and Museum (Japanese), along with a small airy spa as well as a gift shop. Staff are also on hand to make recommendations on where to visit in Naoshima.
Kirsty Cowie (Staff)
Located on the island of Neroshima, a 20 minute train ride from Okayama, Niroshima is an art lovers paradise and as the only luxury hotel on the island Benesse House Hotel is the place to stay. Benesse House Hotel is split into four sections the park, the beach, the museum, and the oval. While each guest room offers unobstructed views of the Japanese sea and exclusive access to the museum after hours each category offers something unique. For truly a unique experience stay in one of the four rooms located in the oval.
Naoshima - Scott Dunn suggests
Since the late 1980s Naoshima has become increasingly well known for its fine contempoary art galleries and architecture. It now has a global presence and is fast becoming one of the world's premier destinations for art. Here are some suggestions:
Art in Japan
Tokyo, Kanazawa, Naoshima, Kyoto & Hakone
from $9600 pp 13 nights
- Impeccable and friendly service
- Delicious breakfasts with a different flavour smoothie each morning
- Iced water in cool boxes for every couple on the beach
Location & directions
Naoshima Island, Japan
Benesse House sits on the southern island shores of Naoshima, a small island that sits between Shikoku and Honshu.
How to get there
From Tokyo, Hiroshima and Kyoto there is direct Shinkansen bullet trains to Okayama and after a private transfer to the port, where you catch your small ferry across to Naoshima.