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Introducing Naoshima

Until not too long ago, the arty isle of Naoshima was no different from many others in the Inland Sea: home to a dwindling population subsisting on the joint proceeds of a dying fishing industry and the old-age pension. Today, as the location of the Benesse Art Site Naoshima, the island is one of the area's biggest tourist attractions, offering a unique opportunity to see some of Japan's best contemporary art in gorgeous natural settings.

The project started in the early '90s, when the Benesse Corporation chose Naoshima as the setting for its growing collection of modern art. Naoshima now has a number of world-class art galleries and installations, and has attracted creative types from all over the country to set up home here.

In addition to the main sites, numerous works of outdoor art are situated around the coast, including the pumpkin sculpture by Kusama Yayoi that has become a symbol of the island.