To The Light: Takamatsu and Naoshima Island

Monday, March 30, 2015

Just came back from a trip to Japan. This trip was especially nice in that I got to go to Naoshima Island for a couple of days (an island that I learned of a few years ago that was described as "an art island" and "amazing"). What made it nicer was that I got to go with one of my closest friends, Megan

We actually stayed in Takamatsu, a city about a one hour ferry ride away from Naoshima (the ferry ride never felt very long - mostly due to me being passed out on it) and is known for udon, having a beautiful garden, and what has to be the sweetest family with the cutest kids ever:

Photo: Megan Lau
If you're going to go Naoshima - you should stay with this family. I found the listing on AirBnB and wanted to book it because of the pictures of the kids alone. The boys were hilarious and I so badly wanted to constantly impress and have them like me. They would do stuff like climb onto their dad at dinner and form a totem pole and pull at his face. Squeeze in between Megan and I, play Pokemon and point out who was who. Randomly scream and pretend they were dragons or some other animal or thing. Eat enormous pieces of sushi in one go and almost choking. 

Megan and I ended up playing the trumpet for the family (after somehow saying that we had both played in junior high and they insisted that we play). We got a lot of happy clapping.

Photo: Megan Lau

Ritsurin Garden (aka the garden that has what has to be the best souvenir shop I've encountered in awhile. I wanted to buy everything. And yes, it's pretty picturesque too):

Some cherry blossoms - we were a bit too early for the full blooms.

The garden has a teahouse. Totally into teahouses. 

Megan and I went on a boat ride and they made us wear these rice hats. So silly, but Megan managed to make it look glamorous. 

The ride was brief but pretty. Where are the fairies. 


We rode bikes with screechy brakes and no gears around the island. It looked cute. But I was dying a lot (the island goes up and down frequently. I swear I'm not that lazy. As Megan said, our muscles are totally different). 

Oh herro. 

Herro too.

Herrooooo. ^^

Herro! o_____0

Tiny series I inadvertently ended up with - Megan's back against nice scenery (or possible Facebook cover photos for Megan's profile):

The things that a lot of people come to Naoshima for - the art and all the forms it takes on the island - outdoor sculptures, a museum with natural lighting built underground so as to not disturb the landscape of the island, old houses converted into art spaces, a bathhouse also acting as a functioning art installation - were driven by Benesse, a company whose name means to live well. What you see on the island is their efforts in making their namesake real and for people to experience. There was a piece involving light on the island that reminded me about adjustments, that they take time and patience and putting aside doubts and eventually things are clear. Basically, hold tight, all will be well. 

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