Self Guided Adventure

Superior
Tailor-made

Art and the Seto Inland Sea

14 Nights: from US$4264 per person (twin share) Trip Code: ASIS

All over the world, the finest art is found almost exclusively in big cities. But Japan has always done things differently, and on this itinerary you'll discover that Japan's true artistic heart lies not amid skyscrapers and neon – but amongst the rural islands of the Seto Inland Sea. Read more >

Stretching 450 kilometres end-to-end and encompassing nearly 3,000 tiny islands, the Seto Inland Sea lies cradled between the three main Japanese islands of Honshu, Shikoku and Kyushu. Though blessed with beautiful natural scenery and a temperate year-round climate, until recently few outsiders ever visited it the region.

That was until the early 1990s, when a quiet revolution occurred amongst the quiet fishing villages and deserted beaches of the Seto Islands. It began on the island of Naoshima with the opening of the Benesse House Museum - the luxury hotel and art gallery designed by feted architect Tadao Ando. Fast forward nearly 30 years, and the region is overflowing with world-class art. Installations by international artists stand dotted across the hills and beaches, hidden in empty houses and abandoned shrines, and even, on Inujima Island, set in the ruins of a Meiji-era copper refinery.

On this itinerary you'll discover the very best of this hidden world as you explore the tiny islands of Inujima and Teshima, cycle across the sea on the Shimanami Kaido, and spend four nights where it all began - at Benesse House. In addition to your journey through the Inland Sea, you'll spend three full days in the cultural capital of Kyoto, where ancient temples rub shoulders with modern art, stop off in Takamatsu, home of the Isamu Noguchi Garden Museum, and round off your trip in hectic Osaka - perhaps Japan's most exciting city.

Combining the very best of Japan's traditional and modern artistic traditions and taking you far from the tourist trail, this is the ultimate itinerary for art-lovers in Japan.

At a glance

What's Included

What's included

  • 14 nights' accommodation in Japan
  • Breakfast every day and one evening meal
  • Full-day private guide in Kyoto and Naoshima
  • All transport between destinations in Japan
  • Bicycle hire on the Shimanami Kaido
  • Airport transfers
  • Your personalised InsideJapan Info-Pack

What's NOT included:

  • International flights
  • Local transport (subways, taxis, buses) at any destination unless otherwise specified
  • Any entrances fees unless otherwise specified
  • Baggage handling & luggage forwarding

Trip Highlights

  • Cycle the spectacular Shimanami Kaido route
  • Stay at a hotel-cum-art-gallery on Naoshima Island
  • Explore the "art islands" of the Seto Inland Sea
  • See modern and traditional art at Kyoto's best galleries
  • Admire outstanding architecture at the Miho, Isamu Noguchi and Toyo Ito museums
  • Explore the temples of Kyoto with an expert local guide

For more information email us: [email protected] or call: 303 952 0379

What, where, when and how...

Art and the Seto Inland Sea - 15 Days - Accommodation

Trip Reviews

Other trips you may like