Situated in the Seto Inland Sea just off the coast of Japan, this island is almost entirely dedicated to art, with the Chichu Art Museum and Benesse House complex both located on its shores. The latter is home to American and Japanese masters and acts as a super exclusive hotel on the side, with guests making the most of 24 hour access to its treasures. However, some of its most famous works can be found outside, including our favourite – Yayoi Kusama’s speckly pumpkin. Dip your toes into the sea before exploring the rest of this otherworldy island.

UJ’s Insider Tips

If you don’t feel you’ve quite whet your watery appetite, we love the art installation (but fully functioning) bath house, ‘I ♥ Yu’. A pun on the Japanese word ‘Yu’ meaning ‘hot water’, it was designed by local artist Otake Shinro and is covered in roving plants, patterned tiles and weird and wonderful art, from an elephant statue and mosaic erotica collages at the bottom of the pools (with the ripples making it almost impossible to discern any naughtiness) to a cactus-filled greenhouse and glowing neon outline of a reclining lady on the roof. Grab a brightly covered towel or a bathing bucket souvenir after a splash.

Benesse House, Gotanji, Naoshima, Kagawa 7613110, Japan | +81 (0)87 892 3223 |