It’s been almost 3 years since I went back to Japan… However, I still have 2 more stages to tell you about, from my May-June 2019 trip to Shikoku Island. We are at the penultimate post before the end of the report of this wonderful road-trip: I am taking my time but hope to finish my travelogue before maybe being able to go back again!
Last time, I made you visit the island of Naoshima. Today’s program includes Teshima Island and some details about the stopover town of Takamatsu where we stayed for 3 nights. So I’m going back into the meanders of my memory to tell you all about it, hoping that it will be useful in the near future: Let’s go!
GETTING TO TESHIMA : As I told you last time, we booked 3 nights in Takamatsu and opted for the ferry to reach Naoshima and Teshima (=one day of visit for each island).
In the same way as for Naoshima, it is necessary to go to the port of Takamatsu in order to reach Teshima by boat. We were eager to discover Teshima, Naoshima’s little sister island, less popular but just as rich in contemporary art.
This time we took the time to rent electric bikes to ride around the island and I highly recommend doing so. It shortens the distances (even if the island is small with its 14.5 km² surface) and allows you not to miss anything.
There are only a few shaded areas and few shops so if you plan to visit Teshima in the summer, bring a hat (or a bucket hat!) and a water bottle and something to snack on.
ART IN TESHIMA: : As in Naoshima, just wander around the island and you’ll come across various contemporary art installations and works. Plan your visit or let your steps or pedals take you there.
- TESHIMA ART MUSEUM : This round-architecture museum by Ryūe Nishizawa, houses only one work of art by Rei Nato that is conducive to meditation and contemplation.
The Teshima Art Museum designed by Ryūe Nishizawa,an overview of Rei Nato and the souvenir shop
This Zen experience mixing art, nature and architecture is difficult to transcribe, especially since photos are forbidden. We stayed there for a long time in the most peaceful and special atmosphere. I loved it.
- LES ARCHIVES DU COEUR : This French project was born from the artist Christian Boltanski (who passed away last July). Since 2008, it has been collecting the heartbeats of visitors from the four corners of the world who come to Teshima. A sound catalogue lists all these heartbeats and you can record your own.
- “NO ONE WINS-MULTIBASKET” by LLOBET & PONS : This rather unusual piece of work allowed me to multiply by 6 my chances to score a basket (contrary to what its name may suggest, hehe!)
“No one wins – Multibasket” de Llobet & Pons
- TESHIMA YOKOO HOUSE : A collaborative project between artist Tadanori Yokoo and architect Yuko Nagayama, in a renovated old house, with the theme of life and death, gathers various artworks as well as a particular garden with red coloured rocks.
In front of Teshima Yokoo house and in the empty streets of Teshima…
EATING IN TESHIMA : When we went there in 2019, there were not many cafes and restaurants open. Maybe there are more since then, I don’t know… So pack some small snacks to take with you for the day.
- SHIMA KITCHEN : We had lunch at this place, designed by architect Ryo Abe. It offers simple menus based on curry and fish and is intended to be a place to meet and talk.
At Shima Kitchen’s counter
We came across a party/kermesse that day, gathering some of the islanders and it was quite funny to see the show the children had prepared.
So we didn’t explore it thoroughly (since it was mainly used to come back every night to sleep after each trip to Naoshima and Teshima) but since it seemed essential to discover its zen garden (reputed to be one of the most beautiful in Japan), we went through it with pleasure the first day of our arrival.
RITSURIN GARDEN : When we arrived, an old man offered to give us a tour: this guide spoke a few words of English and seemed bored by the lack of people in the garden (certainly due to the off-season and the threatening grey weather).
We happily followed him around the garden, listening to him detail each tree and remarkable plant… before being caught by the rain. But even with this hazardous weather, the view of the south basin and its little bridge was breathtaking.
The Folk craft museum in the Ritsurin garden
MY ADDRESSES IN TAKAMATSU : I tested a few gourmet addresses that I share with you here, in addition to the hotel where we stayed for 3 nights.
- SANUKI MENNOSUKE : An unpretentious but rather good soba and udon noodle restaurant. Perfect for a quick bite.
- OSHOKUJIDOKORO SHIRUNOMISE OFUKURO : Seeing how busy this restaurant was, we thought it was a good place to go… and it was! Family food without fuss but well prepared. The only downside is that the owner seems to be pushing us a bit when choosing the dishes but the atmosphere is lively and the food is comforting.
- ROYAL PARK HOTEL TAKAMATSU : A nice and clean place to stay (with a laundry annex: perfect to do your laundry). We spent a lot of time in the evening in the lounge (where breakfast was also served every morning). It was the perfect and quiet place to rest and study our next destination!
Breakfast at Royal Park Hotel Takamatsu
Our road-trip will end soon (well, I should say…AT LAST ! because it took me almost 3 years to tell all this!) as we will leave again to Awaji but at Sumoto city for a last relaxing and spa experience, made of hot baths facing the sea. See you at the next (and last) stage! (English translation by Quiterie)