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  • Day11

    Naoshima

    January 6, 2018 in Japan ⋅ ⛅ 9 °C

    Today started with breakfast at the Uno Port Inn (bacon & egg rolls and coffee) and ended up in Kyoto for dinner !
    In between, we got the ferry out to Naoshima, the most famous of the art islands. It is a fascinating place and we realised that we did not allow enough time for these islands !!! Naoshima has several small galleries and a number of outdoor sculptures along the coast line. Having to be careful with time, we chose Bennesse House, a beautiful building overlooking the beach - a little reminiscent of MONA. Inside is a small collection of works including Hockney, Yves Klein, Basquiat, Twombly as well as some Japanese works. One of the highlights was a huge wall with neon words that light up including several swear words that had Henry and Ivy wide-eyed. Another was a dynamic work of art covering an entire wall and depicting the flags of the world made out of sand and connected by perspex tunnels. An army of ants was introduced at the top and is gradually tunnelling through the art work.
    Henry and Russell went to a unique onsen (elsewhere on the island) which was also covered in art, mosaics and statues. Meanwhile Ivy and I found a fantastic coffee shop run by a very cool guy called Mikazuki Shoten. He was making Melbourne / Sydney style coffee and I had the best latte since arriving in Japan. We also chatted and he gave us sweets and stickers.
    We then ferried back to bid a fond farewell to our friendly hosts and Uno Port Inn. From there we took the local train to Okayama, and after stocking up on ekiben, the shinkansen to Kyoto.
    One more thing (I was reminded of this after re-reading the Hiroshima chapter - at Bennesse House one of the Artworks was a large silk panel in white and rusty red on which was printed Article 9 of the Japanese Constitution (inserted shortly after the bomb) which reads:
    Article 9 (1) Aspiring sincerely to an international peace based on justice and order, the Japanese people forever renounce war as a sovereign right of the nation and the threat or use of force as a means of settling international disputes.
    (2) In order to accomplish the aim of the preceding paragraph, land, sea, and air forces, as well as other war potential, will never be maintained. The right of belligerency of the state will not be recognised.
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