As the name “Teshima” (literally, "rich island") indicates, the island is blessed with spring water and where local residents have supported themselves by growing rice, dairy farming, fishing and vegetable growing. The island is now also rich in art, as a result of its participation in the Benesse Art Project since 2010, and has served as a venue for projects related to “food and art”. Artworks have been created based on themes such as “art and a rich diet” and “recovering nature and humanity”. Favored due to its location, in which nature and art are come together, along with its fascinating food culture, Teshima attracts visitors from both Japan and abroad as the second largest art island after Naoshima.
TESHIMA ART – BLENDING NATURE, PEOPLE AND FOOD THAT KEEPS EVOLVING
Artworks in Teshima are scattered everywhere within the island's rich nature. The island's main attraction is the Teshima Art Museum, designed by the two artists, Ryue Nishizawa (architect) and Rei Naito (sculptor). The architectural beauty of this museum, merged as it is with the surrounding nature, is both unique and overwhelming, as well as highly praised by the rest of the world. It is worth making several visits to the museum to experience the views that constantly change according to season and the weather.
On the island there is also a unique installation called “Distant Memory”, created by Chiharu Shiota, an artist who served as Director of the Japan Pavilion at la Biennale di Venezia in 2015. “Shima Kitchen” is another audacious artwork designed by Ryo Abe, and was created around the concept of “food and art”. “Teshima Yokoo House” features artworks by world renowned artist and graphic designer, Tadanori Yokoo.
There is also an intriguing work by Christian Boltanski, "Les Archives du Cœur" (A Heart Archive), a facility where you can listen to the heartbeats of people all over the world. Along with these existing artworks, the following new pieces have also been displayed for the Setouchi Triennale 2016: “Animitas”, an art installation by Christian Boltanski, where you can hear the sound of as many as 300 wind-bells ringing in the wind; “Needle Factory”, a work created by Shinro Ohtake that unites an abandoned needle factory and a disused wooden hull-form; “Teshima Yaoyorozu Lab”, which utilizes an old townhouse to for displaying artwork by multimedia artist, Sputniko! By displaying such fine artworks by leading contemporary artists, Teshima keeps evolving and attracting visitors.
OLD JAPANESE LANDSCAPE WITH VERDANT RICE TERRACES AND BEAUTIFUL SCENERY OF THE SETO INLAND SEA
Unlike other islands in the Seto Inland Sea, Teshima is blessed with an abundance of spring water. There is a sacred fountain called “Karato-no-shimizu" (spring of Karato) at the foot of Mt. Danyama, from where pure natural water flow. The village of Karato-oka developed around the spring and presents a view of an earlier time now rarely seen in Japan. A walk around the Karato-oka area is an enjoyable experience and many artworks can be found here, including Shima Kitchen. From the top of Danyama, you can enjoy 360-degree vistas at a height of 340 meters above sea level, a fantastic view of islands scattered in the Inland Sea. The mountain is traversed if you hire an e-bike. An evergreen Japanese chinquapin forest covers the mountain, wherein you can find a 250 year-old tree.
Enjoy the beautiful scenery of the rice terraces and the Inland Sea on the way down from Karato-oka to the beach. Here, rice is grown using the fresh water of “Karato-no-shimizu". On the opposite side of the rice terraces is the Teshima Art Museum, exposing its exterior that resembles a drop of water. The area has a picturesque appearance, with rice terraces stretching along the sloping hill, together with orange and lemon terraces, and a vast olive farm on the southern part of the island. In early summer, olive trees burst into bloom. The island offers scenic views for each season that will delight your senses.
INFORMATION – TESHIMA
Area: 14.49 square kilometers/perimeter 19.8km
Teshima has two ports 1) Ieura Port; 2) Karato Port
From Takamatsu: 25 min by boat to Ieura Port
From Shodoshima (Tonosho Port): 20 minutes by ferry to Karato Port and an additional 30 minutes to Ieura Port (50 minutes by ferry from Tonosho Port to Ieura Port)
From Naoshima (Honmura Port/Miyaura Port): 20-25 minutes by boat to Ieura Port
[TRANSPORTATION ON THE ISLAND]
Rental bikes (automatic) or public bus
Rental bikes – available at several shops at Ieura/Karato harbor.
*The roads on the island have many slopes, so be careful not to bike too fast. Observe the traffic rules when cycling.
Taxi: only one taxi in the island *Requires a reservation.