Setouchi Triennale 2016 in Some Numbers…


The Setouchi Triennale 2016 ended two and half months ago. It’s winter. Most remaining artworks are closed until the Spring. Preparations for the Setouchi Triennale 2019 are no more than some thoughts and ideas at the moment.

However, I was given some documents debriefing the festival. It’s all in Japanese, so I’m going to have to wait until it’s translated into English to share more information with you, but it also contains some data that can be of some interest for you.

First, the general attendance this year was 1,040,050!

It’s a bit less than in 2013 (1,070,368), but barely.

If you divide by season, Spring had 254,284 visitors, Summer had 401,004 and Fall had 384,762.

The most popular island is, without surprise Naoshima. Here is the breakdown of all the islands:

  1. Naoshima: 257,586
  2. Shodoshima: 155,546 (I was surprised that Shodoshima arrived second, but I guess it always gets a lot of tourists – unrelated to the festival – I assume a bunch of them decided to visit some artworks too)
  3. Teshima: 154,713
  4. Takamatsu: 122,555
  5. Inujima: 60,212
  6. Shamijima: 58,766 (and this number was reached despite being open only one season – Shamijima’s advantage being that you can drive there probably)
  7. Ogijima: 54, 232 (surprised that Ogijima got more visitors than Megijima)
  8. Megijima: 49,276
  9. Uno Port: 38,806
  10. Awashima: 23,668
  11. Honjima: 21,802
  12. Takamijima: 21,028
  13. Ibukijima: 16,756
  14. Oshima: 5,104


Oiwa Island 2 on Shodoshima


The following numbers came from various questionnaires that were given to visitors, they may or may not be accurate (just like any poll).

67.2% of visitors were female and 32.8% male. This big difference is easily explainable, as fewer women have jobs and as such they usually have more free time for cultural events.

Age-wise, visitors are traditionally young (once again, less busy with work, more interested in culture), with 50% of visitors being in their 20’s and 30’s.

Now, let’s talk about where they’re from.

30.9% of visitors are residents of Kagawa. That is still a large proportion, but it’s getting smaller (36% in 2013)

Another 9.8% come from nearby Okayama. And about 45.9% come from the rest of Japan.

Now, the number that is very significant is that this year 13.4% of visitors were foreigners. It’s a huge increase from 2013 when the number was only 2.6%.

Now, let’s see where those foreigners are from:

  1. Taiwan: 29.2%
  2. South Korea: 12.5%
  3. France: 9.8% (I want to believe that my efforts are responsible for this number, but truth is the fact that Naoshima is slowly becoming famous in France is most likely the reason. 😉 Still a big and good surprise).
  4. Hong Kong: 9.1%
  5. USA: 8.4% (I’m pretty surprised by this number, but I assume that Naoshima is also the cause, as it’s also becoming quite famous, at least in art circles, in the US)
  6. Australia: 4.5%
  7. United Kingdom: 3.6%
  8. China: 2.3%
  9. Netherlands: 1.8%
  10. Germany: 1.4%
  11. The rest of the world accounting for 17.4% of foreign visitors.


I have a few more numbers, but they may or may not be interesting for you, so I’ll just link to them once the English version of the document is online (I may not link from the blog, probably from social media, so stay tuned).



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