In October last year I went to the island Naoshima with a swedish friend who also lives in Japan, and his japanese friend. Naoshima is known as the ”art island” of Japan and is perhaps most known for its ”pumpkin” installation by the japanese artist Yayoi Kusama.
I was six months pregnant with Iris at the time, but I wasn’t really showing that much and was feeling great, so I bet people around me didn’t really see me as a ”pregnant lady”.
The trip started quite dramatically when I called my friend one hour before our flight from Tokyo was about to take off and he was still in bed. Somehow he miraculously managed to get there in time for departure though.
When we arrived at Uno port, which is the link from the mainland to Naoshima, we noticed that the ferries were really crowded. Turned out that we unintentionally had chosen the exact same dates for our trip as the Setouchi triennale which is an art festival held every three years in the area. This however, turned out to our advantage as all the art exhibitions were top-notch.
In spite of all the art, the best part of our trip was when we rented motorbikes to explore the island on our own. Mind you, you have to get up early to be able to rent a motorbike during the triennale, as everyone is trying to get one. I really recommend doing so though!
You can rent a motorbike if you have a japanese or foreign driver’s license. I was good to go with my swedish one.
We went around on our bikes exploring the local shops, coffee shops and nature in the area.
On our way home we passed Okayama and the famous Korakuen-garden.
Okayama is in the mainland and they have an airport, making it easily accessible from other parts of the country. We flew Tokyo-Okayama and back on our way home, taking the train and ferry to get to and from Naoshima.