Japanese Version

Naoshima re-revisited

The lobby of Naoshima Island's Park Hotel designed by Tadao Ando.


I just returned from a two night stay on Naoshima, where I saw the Benesse Art Projects and museums. The Benesse-related sites now span 16 years, starting with the Benesse Museum Hotel in 1992, the Benesse Hotel Annex in 1998, the Chichu Museum in 2004 and the Benesses Park Hotel in 2006, all designed by Pritzker-award winning architect, Tadao Ando. Below are images of the hotel lounge area.



Though I visit Naoshima once or twice each year, this is the first time that I have explored the Park hotel.  Ando has applied a number of traditional Japanese architectural concepts to the overall design.  For example, the following photo shows how he incorporates low, sukiya-style windows in the corridors.



Now compare Ando's corridor windows with the window in a building at 400-year old Katsura Villa.


Located just 20 minutes walk from the Park Hotel is the Chichu Museum, which Ando designed to showcase art by three artists:  James Turrell, Walter de Maria and Claude Monet. The following photo is an aerial view of the mostly underground structure.

Chichu Museum
Photo courtesy of Benesse Calendar 2009, Shin Sobue and Tomoyoshi Ando of cozfish.

The many fans of Tadao Ando may be pleased to know that I will be periodically posting photos of his works, which are now found in many parts of Japan, as well as the U.S.   On Thursday, I am going to Osaka and Kobe to photograph a number of his buildings. There are 30 such sites at the epicenter of the 1995 Kobe Earthquake. Attesting to Ando's skill level, there was no damage at all to any of the 30 structures. By the way, Benesse is now in the process of building a new Ando museum on Naoshima, which will showcase the work of a Korean artist.


2 thoughts on “Naoshima re-revisited

  1. Lana Choy

    It was wonderful seeing your recent photos of Naoshima Island and Tadao Ando’s work. Our few days (in the yurts!) on Naoshima were among the most magical of November’s trip… the sunsets, the art installations, the night sky, walking along the beach and up that mountain.. and having ice cream waffles for “lunch” at Benesse House topped it all off!

    San Francisco’s Cherry Blossom Festival spanned two weekends this year, and I saw taiko drumming there on Saturday with Marci Mills.

    It was lovely being able to share San Francisco with Ritsuko, and I hope you ring me up the next time you’ll be in the Bay Area!


  2. Mary Bloom

    I am a little late replying but in Janurary i was sick.
    Once again I am dazzeled by all that you offer and how gorgeous are you photographs. I love Naoshima more and more and also the wondeerous Sugimot space. I tell you there is no end of beauty in Japan. Thanks for bringing to us
    Best always
    Mary Bloom