Saturday, November 9, 2013

Japan 2013 - Benesse House Museum/Hotel

We ended the tour with an overnight stay at Benesse House, on the island of Naoshima, not far from Okayama. The typhoon left the area just two hours before we boarded our small boat, proving once again the efficacy of the blessing we had received at Nikko. (See post of November 2, 2013). We arrived in time for a quick visit to the Chichu Museum (just seven works of art in a magnificent mostly underground space designed by Tadao Ando), we arrived in time for a beautiful sunset.

The view from our room at Benesse House
Benesse House is located, in part, in the Benesse Museum, which is part of the multi-site Benessse Art Site on Naoshima. It is a pretty thrilling place to stay, surrounded by first-rate 20th century (mostly Western) art in a building designed by Tadao Ando. We stayed in the oval, with its spectacular reflecting pool, reached by a tiny funicular from the main museum building.

Reflecting pool at sunset
Reflecting pool in morning

We had our end-of-tour celebration at the western-style restaurant in a different building: very nice Frenchish fusion. Breakfast was served in the museum restaurant, overlooking the water with a view of several coastline photos by Sugimoto Hiroshi (yes, they are kept outside).

View from breakfast room at Benesse Museum
The view was not all; it was a really excellent Japanese breakfast.

Japanese breakfast at Benesse House
Breakfast vegetable
Breakfast steamed mélange

Thus the tour ended, and people returned home, either directly or after spending a few more days in Kyoto or Tokyo. A wonderful experience, artistically of course but also gastronomically, as the previous posts illustrate. J and I returned to Tokyo the next day, and were a rewarded with a goodbye kiss from Japan, a beautiful view of Mt. Fuji from the train.

Mount Fuji from the train to Tokyo

Bobby Jay

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