Naoshima and Okayama - Japan New Year 2010

Naoshima and Okayama

Wednesday 6th January 2010

A day spent visiting the island of Naoshima, famous for contemporary art, followed by an evening meeting up with some old friends in Okayama.

Japan New Year 2010
11:03:20 Chie sitting on the ferry on the way over to Naoshima.11:03:57 Some sea views taken from the ferry.11:04:04 The top deck of the ferry.
11:04:22 More sea views from the ferry...11:04:59 11:05:08
11:05:40 11:05:49 11:06:16
11:07:39 I rather like the way the window frames this shot.11:08:32 A passing ship...11:08:43
11:09:33 11:19:20 On the island there - can just about see the red pumpkin over there in the distance (I thought we'd be going back later for a closer look, but in the end we didn't).11:37:39 Some boats - presumably Naoshima's economy was sustained in part by fishing before the art boom.
11:40:22 The first venue on the "Art House" tour - unfortunately none of these allowed photographs inside! This first one was very Japanese - a series of painted screeens.11:55:28 A nice little series of stone bridges on the way between art house venue 1 and 2.11:57:59 This was probably my second favourite of the art house venues - Haisha-san (the name of the artist, I think) - I sort of higgledy piggedly mix of discarded things attached to this ramshackled old building.
11:58:30 ...some more details...11:58:36 Apparently these tiles are normally used in public baths.11:58:41
12:07:57 After having been inside - again no photography allowed inside, but if you look through that window...12:08:06 can just about make out one of the exhibits - a replica of the Statue of Liberty, which had apparently been used by a Japanese hotel or something at some point, and was discarded.12:08:24 An old udon sign, and a presumably newer non sign.
12:08:36 The loudspeaker was a nice touch too.12:09:03 ...oh and this old mirror.12:13:22 On our way to art house venue number 3...
12:13:32 ...I spotted this rather nice old rusty Coca-Cola sign.12:13:48 Entrance to a shrine.12:14:32 The building for art house venue number 3. Inside the building it was completely pitch black, and the experience was to go and sit in the dark for a few minutes whilst your eyes adjusted to the light, when eventually you worked out there were some very dimly lit screens in there... or something - I have a feeling this may have gone over my head a bit.
12:34:18 Going up to visit the shrine.12:36:29 12:36:59
12:38:07 12:38:23 12:38:33 Looked like quite an old shrine building to me.
12:38:48 12:41:07 Nice view from part of the grounds of the shrine.12:41:32 This is a new shrine building which is also another art project - these glass steps appear to descend into the floor...
12:41:41 Close-up on the glass steps.12:43:38 There's that view again.12:43:46
12:43:59 12:44:12 ...a little stone corridor leading to a chamber under the new shrine building, where the glass steps continued.12:45:59 The view outwards from inside the stone corridor.
13:04:11 The fourth (or was it fifth?) art house venue, containing an installation by Tatsuo Miyajima called "Sea of Time" - a large number of 7 segment numeric LCD displays submerged in a pool of water, all counting at different rates. Probably my favourite thing of the whole day - a real shame we couldn't take pictures inside!13:04:21 A cat guarding the entrance to Miyajima-san's exhibit.13:04:30 Close up on the cat.
13:04:38 13:18:27 Next we went for lunch at the hotel on the island. Close to the hotel is this wonderfully absurd large pumpkin sculpture on the end of a pier.13:18:49 I think it would be impossible to pass this without wanting to take a picture.
13:19:03 Here's Chie and the pumpkin.14:23:44 The view from the hotel's restaurant, after lunch.14:23:59 Chie and Masumi-san (our guide for the day) after lunch. I rather liked this restaurant - very nice sea views and it was lovely and warm!
14:24:17 14:35:40 14:35:50 Looking across the sea from the hotel to Shikoku - one of the four largest islands of Japan.
14:37:32 14:37:41 14:37:51 The hotel's restaurant as seen from outside.
14:39:43 14:41:58 We braved the elements for a walk around the coast en route to the Chichu Art museum, and took in some more outdoor sculptures en route...14:42:08 ....these diamond shapes were wobling quite disconcertingly with the high winds.
14:43:57 An installation by Walter de Maria, using similar granite balls and those strange golden structures as a rather grand and impressive room in the Chichu Art Museum.14:44:07 Reflections here look a bit like visors on crash helmets.14:46:03 It was too cold to make me want to re-take the picture of this sculpture.
14:46:17 There's the Seto-Ohashi bridge over there, which links Shikoku with the main island of Honshu.14:51:50 I rather liked this painting (photograph) framed and hung on a cliff face here.14:51:58 ...zoomed in a bit, but still no idea what the image is!
14:56:55 Nearly at Chichu Art Museum now. Again no pictures allowed inside!16:01:09 Taken from the cafe of Chich Art Museum, the one place where they allow photography.16:01:41 Chie and Masumi-san in the cafe.
16:01:51 ...and again, trying to get in the very nice sea views to be had from here.16:20:15 ....a few more pictures of the view from (just outside) the cafe.16:20:24
16:20:33 16:22:07 16:27:42 Chie and Masumi-san decided to brave it briefly...
16:29:31 17:59:54 On the way back to Okayama now. Here's a can of Kirin Free - 0.0% ABV. Apparently alcohol free beer is something of a novelty in Japan.19:22:53 In the shopping centre in Okayama station. I'd taken a picture of the interesting English on this store in Hiroshima a few years back, and was delighted to see you're still being invited to "Enjoy your socks style!".
20:08:07 In "Lager" - an Izakya in Okayama - with Tetsu, Chie's friend friend from univeristy, and his wife Kanako-san.20:11:03 A slightly blurry picture taken by the waiter of all four of us.22:27:25 Later on, a very dark picture in another bar including Hiroshi-san, another of Chie's university friends.
22:27:57 ...and another dark picture!