Yayoi Kusama’s Yellow Pumpkin dotted in black on Naoshima, has become the symbol of the art islands.
Yayoi Kusama’s Yellow Pumpkin dotted in black on Naoshima, has become the symbol of the art islands.
Image: Supplied

The 2019 Rugby World Cup kicks off on 20 September 20 in the tiny Pacific Island nation of Japan. Land Rover is both a global partner to biggest rugby tournament in the world, and a proud partner of the Springboks too.

Because we’re Wanted, we’ve curated the coolest, smartest and most unique itinerary for you — in between cheering on the Boks, of course. We’ve taken our inspiration from the Range Rover Sport SVR, designed especially for the Springbok team. In this third and final instalment of a three-part series, we look at art, music, food, and sports attractions. 

Situated halfway between Osaka and Hiroshima, 12 rural, abandoned fishing islands, part of Seto Inland Sea, have been transformed into an art paradise and aptly dubbed “Japan’s arty-pelago” by The Guardian. Among these lie the most popular small islands of Naoshima, Teshima and Inujima, described as surreal experience for contemporary art lovers.

1. BENESSE HOUSE | BENESSE ART SITE NAOSHIMA

Benesse Art Site Naoshima is the collective name for all art-related activities by Benesse Holdings and the Fukutake Foundation on the islands of Naoshima, Teshima, and Inujima.

Book a night’s stay — or four — at the beautiful Benesse House, which was established in 1992. Both a museum and a hotel, guests can get up-close and personal with the artists’ works and other facilities and activities on offer. Make the hotel your base and explore the islands using the art site’s suggested day-trip or two-day itineraries. There are residents living on Naoshima who have renovated their homes and offer them up for lodgings.

Benesse House.
Benesse House.
Image: Supplied

2. ART FESTIVAL | 2019 SETOUCHI TRIENNALE

The islands are also the setting for the 2019 Setouchi Triennale, which started in 2010 and is held over three seasons: spring, summer, and autumn. The upcoming autumn festival takes place from September 28 to 4 November 4. More than 200 artworks will be on display and projects will “transform abandoned buildings, highlight artisanship, and involve locals, including children,” writes Isabel Choat in The Guardian.

The Setouchi Triennale takes place in the picturesque setting of the Seto Inland Sea.
The Setouchi Triennale takes place in the picturesque setting of the Seto Inland Sea.
Image: Supplied

One of the main objectives of this festival is to revitalise the islands in the Seto Inland Sea — many of which have been greatly affected by depopulation over the past few years — by creating sustainable tourism through contemporary art.

Visit the Land Rover website for more information. Join the #DriveBeyond conversation on Twitter and Instagram.

This article was paid for by Land Rover, proud vehicle partner to the Springboks.

© Wanted 2019 - If you would like to reproduce this article please email us.
X