We were lucky enough to stay at the exclusive Benesse house art site hotel on our trip to Naoshima. It was well worth the travel time and cost. Benesse holdings Inc. and the fukutake foundation have brought such profound impacts upon an already naturally beautiful landscape. They have made significant spaces and awe-inspiring architecture to blend seamlessly with the Seto inland sea. To be able to view this modern art accomplishment has been a privilege.
The motto of Benesse is ‘Well Being’ and this is conveyed through their appreciation of the site before they were there and the rich culture and history it provided for a contemporary haven of bright minded artist’ like Lee Ufan. This appreciation allows for a mutual growth of islanders and tourists in order to create harmony in what to me is a world-class experience like no other.
You need at least 2 full days on this island (although I could have stayed for a week). There is a shuttle bus that takes you around to all the art sites or you can take it all in by walking. Staying at Benesse house was all part of the experience for me in that the architecture complimented the landscape and my experience of the island so thoughtfully. From the long ramps and domineering concrete stairwells to the pockets of light creeping in from the sides as you traverse the hallways always seeking more.
This is not a place just for exploring art and nature but a place to reconnect with your thoughts, dreams and inner soul. Enjoy the sound cloud whilst scrawling through some photos that only just give this place justice. 3 words: Heaven on Earth.