Benesse Art Site Naoshima – Park, Beach & Hotel

 

Not too long ago I told you about the Benesse House and the Benesse Art Site on Naoshima.

Here are a few more lines and pictures about it, although today, we are going to mainly focus on the Benesse House Park and Beach.

This section of the Benesse House includes some parts of the hotel and some of the restaurants. This location is in my eyes one of the most beautiful part of the island, if not of the whole area.

 

Benesse Art Site Naoshima

 

First a few words about the hotel in case you’d like to stay there one of those days.

Know that the hotel is actually four mini-hotels spread out all over the site. Each building has been designed by Tadao Andō (who else?).

Let’s start with the rooms in the Museum. Yes, you read me right, there are a few rooms in the Museum building and you can access the museum from them! Hotel guests can even have the museum all for themselves after it closes for regular visitors and that until 10PM! What art lover has never dreamed of such a thing? Oh, and there are artworks in the rooms too! There are works by Imi Knoebel, Christo & Jeanne ClaudeJosef AlbersCai Guo QiangSol LeWittThomas Ruff and Jennifer Bartlett.

The second section of the hotel is known as the Oval (for obvious reasons as you can see on the map at the bottom of this post). It is located nearby the Museum and is accessible from it. The Oval‘s six rooms have huge windows giving an amazing view over the Seto Inland Sea. There too, guests spend the night with various artists, Keith HaringRichard LongDavid Tremlett and Bernd & Hilla Becher.

 

The third part of the Hotel, the Park, at the foot of the hill (it’s the building in the next picture) is also the one where one can find a spa, a restaurant and a few boutiques, as well as a few pieces of art that can be seen and appreciated by anyone, not just hotel guests, among them, Blind Blue Landscape.

This part has more rooms and suites, 41 (against 6 for the Oval and also 6 for the Museum if I’m correct) and no artworks in the rooms. The museum is at walking distance and the beach is even closer.

 

Benesse House Hotel - Park

 

Finally, there’s the Beach section of the hotel. Its eight suites are located literary on the shore, a few feet away from the water (it’s the building that you can see on the first picture above). Can you imagine the view over the Seto Inland Sea and Shikoku?

Now, I’m sure you’d like to stay there, wouldn’t you?

Well, let’s talk about unpleasant things then. Prices. I won’t give you the details, they are there, just a range to help you budget your trip to Naoshima.

In the Museum and the Oval:

  • Rooms: For one person during low season, a night is about ¥ 31,000, for three people during high season, a room will be a bit more than ¥47,000.
  • Suites : They go from ¥56,600 (1 person, low season) to ¥ 93,600 (4 people, high season)

In the Park:

  • It will cost you between ¥28,000 and ¥37,000 per night for a room.
  • And between about ¥45,000 and ¥63,500 for a suite.

On the Beach:

  • Suites go from ¥57,750 to ¥69,300. I’m actually surprised those are not more expensive.

Yes, I know I haven’t used to talk about things that are so pricey on this blog.

 

Benesse Art Site - Beach - Niki de Saint Phalle
Niki de Saint Phalle

 

I’ll tell you about the restaurants another day (when I will have tried them?). If you can’t wait, you find information about them on the official site.

When I visited the place, last October, I focused mostly on the outdoors (the weather was great) and the artworks (as I was there to cover the Setouchi International Art Festival 2010), so with those two things in mind, here are a few pictures from the area, hoping you’ll enjoy them.

 

Benesse Art Site Naoshima
This is what I'm talking about when I talk about the view on the Seto Inland Sea.

 

Frog and Cat by Karel Appel, the very first artwork installed on Naoshima in 1989.

 

Benesse Art Site Naoshima - Beach

 

Benesse Art Site Naoshima - Niki de Saint Phalle
Niki de Saint Phalle

 

Benesse Art Site Naoshima

 

Benesse Art Site Naoshima - Park
Niki de Saint Phalle

 

Benesse Art Site Naoshima - Beach ToriiNot exactly on the same spot, but a few hundred feet away, this Torii on the beach is quite interesting and even amusing. As you most likely know, if one throw a stone on a Torii and is said stone stays on it, your wish of good luck and happiness will be granted. Well, at first sight, a lot of people are happy and lucky since they went to Naoshima (and they’re all very good at throwing stones). The trick – and you may have guessed it thanks to the angle from which the picture was taken – is that the Torii is not higher than 2 meters. That would explain a lot.

 

Benesse Art Site Naoshima - Niki de Saint Phalle
Niki de Saint Phalle

 

Naoshima
Naoshima, from afar (from Ogijima or even from Takamatsu, I'm not sure)

 

 

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