The islands of the Setouchi region of Japan are often referred to as “jewels of the world” and it’s no wonder. This land of enchantment is home to the world-renowned Setouchi Triennale, an art festival that will next span 2022, uniting celebrated contemporary artists and their creations from all over the globe.
Overwhelmingly scenic with its seascape framed by mountains, its hundreds of islands are all individual, unique and carry with them their own personalities and characteristics, complemented by a balmy Medterranean-like climate making it enjoyable all year round. Local flavor abounds with its intensely local-proud culinary scene and intrinsic hospitality of its residents.
To truly experience the best of what Setouchi has to offer, the only way is by private yacht complete with stylish accommodations, luxe amenities and private chef and along the way, here’s the hot list of what you’ve got to see.
Naoshima, the hub of the Triennale, is truly an island of art between its many exterior installations that remain from past festivals along with stunning museums including the famed Benesse House, created based on the “symbiosis of nature, architecture and art” also featuring a beloved design-centric hotel with four buildings, each with different styles to accommodate unique wishes whether it is museum, beach, special views or verdant greenery.
Travelers who crave sustainability fall for Teshima and its unique “Rice Terraces Project”, launched to revitalize terraced paddies that had temporarily fallen due to the decline in Japanese agriculture. Today it is a fusion of nature, food and art and the terraces are incredibly impressive. Scenery that seems to extend endlessly, not to be missed in June especially when the paddies are filled with water and create a beautiful photographic image.
Next stop Inujima, attracting attention recently with it’s signature galleries scattered throughout, made of old wood, transparent acrylic and aluminum that reflect the surrounding stunning scenery. Here, it’s about land, sea and nature where guests love to camp, swim, and kayak.
Shodoshima captivates the romance-seekers, where art gazing is as stunning as the star gazing. Not to be missed are Maze Town, a complex network of intricate streets and alleyways that are fun to get lost in, and Angel Road, a sandy path that appears when the tide rises and falls. Legend has it that when you cross it holding hands with your loved one, your wish comes true.
Finally, it’s ideal to end the journey with a night on a private island and no better place than Kujira Jima, a glamper’s paradise where your group is the only one on the island at a time, complete with fully equipped guest house, full barbecue setup ideal for inviting a private chef to take control of, plenty of space on the beach for pitching a tent and lots of water toys for seafaring adventures.
For more information, visit www.setouchifinder.com/en or @setouchitrip