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Liminal Air Core - Meon - Sunport Takamatsu



That is the approximate number of people who attended the Spring Session of the Setouchi Triennale.

That’s 25% more than during the same period (the first 33 days) in 2010, although I’m not sure one can compare as those 33 days were in July and August back then.

In any case, it is more than I was expecting (not that my expectations matter on the issue) and I’m both excited and scared for that Summer and Fall will be like.

Excited because that means more people will discover the Setouchi area and its wonderful islands (the millionth visitor mark could be reach this Fall).

Scared because that will mean huge crowds and long lines everywhere. Selfishly, while I love “my” islands with some activity on it, I’d rather have them uncrowded. For the local population it’s also a blessing and a strain. A blessing that so many people discover and possible will start to care about their islands, a strain because life will be difficult at times during those crowded moments.


(my source for this number is Arthur Huang, his source is NHK and I assume that their source is the executive committee)



12 thoughts on “263,014”

  1. David, the revised numbers are even higher – 263,014 people attended the spring session of the Setouchi Triennale. Shamijima was the most popular destination with 77,693 visitors. The summer is definitely going to be crowded since the initial forecast for spring was 132,000 total visitors. I am telling all my friends that between seasons maybe the way to enjoy the Setouchi Triennale even you cannot see all the artwork. Here is the link – (in Japanese)

    1. Thanks for the update.
      Wow, I can’t believe Shamijima was the most popular (although it makes sense, being accessible by car and being open only for the Spring).
      It’s true that I was surprised that Naoshima was not that crowded last week-end (much less than last year for Golden Week). I assume that one of the reason is that many Spring visitors are people from the area, Shikoku, Okayama, etc. So they tend to go to the less famous places.

  2. You are welcome! I have been checking for numbers because I am planning my visits to Ogijima to check the sculptures. I am going to go in July before summer season and in September before fall season. No plans to attend during the summer, but I might be convinced to make a fall season visit especially to see the new islands. Yes, I am also surprised that Shamijima was the most popular. I was hoping to see Ogijima numbers in the news report. Hope all is well!

    1. Definitely come to the Fall session if you can, it’ll be crowded, but with every artwork up and running (except on Shamijima and Ibukijima of course)

  3. Glad to hear the turnout was so good, yet like you I am a bit sad. I wish I could go to the other editions. I really envy your ability to go to all 3 seasons. I’m really happy that I was one of those people. I wonder how they counted it though. How did they avoid double counting and such. Guess that is the statistician in me. 🙂

    1. I also wonder how they count.
      One good estimate is the number of art passports sold, but not every visitor buys one (and some buy several – I may end up buying a new one for Fall if I visit a lot of things in Summer).
      Ferry rides can be another way, but it’s a very approximate number, as not everyone taking the ferry does it for the festival, especially for Shodoshima (and no ferry for Shamijima, but I think there was a guy with a manual counter (don’t know the name) at the entrance of the parking lot).
      Maybe some sort of average is made between both. Really, I don’t know and I’ve been wondering the same.

      All in all, I think that in the end, the number is closer to the one of visits rather than unique visitors (a bit like for websites 😉 )

      1. I agree. I think it is for visits. My guess, they probably average the locations that charge admission. I know they were recording how many people entered each paid site. I think they have 2 sections, passport and non-passport. Take the total number of people, non-passport, and average it for each island. Do the same for passport holders, and then maybe average it for all islands. Or, just take the highest total, although I would suspect we couldn’t do that for the Benesse museums. The houses would be more representative of the actual visitors.

        Either way, it is a great number. I will definitely be back in 3 years. Maybe I’ll do a double trip next time.

        BTW: Any plans for the Echigo-Tsumari Art Field in 2 years? I hope to go to that too. 🙂

        1. Your guess may be the right one.

          I don’t have plans to the Echigo-Tsumari Art Field, but yeah, that could be an idea for 2015. These days, I don’t really travel far from home (Hiroshima is the furthest I’ve been since I moved to Japan), but that will change sooner or later. My problem with traveling these days, is that I hate rushing when I travel, and with the ridiculously low number of vacation days that I get, it’s not always obvious to travel.

          1. My job gives me unlimited days off (unpaid of course) so I can travel a lot. It just gets expensive. Hope you get more time off. I know what you mean by enjoying the place. I wish I had more time to enjoy the Triennale, and a lot more money to do so. 🙂

          2. Unlimited days off, I’d love that, even unpaid.
            But now that I have to support a family, I can’t really do that anymore (some of my previous jobs allowed me many days off… many… and I even took a year off a couple of times, it was the good uncaring old days)

          3. A year off sounds like fun. I can’t do that. I’d be broke.

            I can only imagine what a family is like. I am at my closest with a dog, but that isn’t a kid, that’s for sure.

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