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All at Sea

You don't often get to live with beautiful contemporary art, but on the tiny island of Naoshima, you can do exactly that. Located in Japan's Seto Inland Sea, hundreds of miles from Tokyo, the island has become a center for the coexistence of nature, art and architecture.

The main building of the Benesse Art Site, the striking Benesse House, was designed by renowned architect Tadao Ando and serves as the focal point for the art. Artists are invited to stay at the site and produce works, drawing on the building's close relationship with the nature that surrounds it.

Staying on Naoshima is a bit like being Alice in Wonderland, as quirky works of art have been left behind, scattered along the coastline and throughout the forest, as well as in the restaurant, bar, and even the guest rooms. They include Yayoi Kusama's stunning “Pumpkin,” Yoshihiro Suda's curious “Weeds,” and various sculptures by Niki de Saint Phalle.

Also on the island is the new Chichu Art Museum. Once again conceived by Ando, it includes works by Claude Monet, Walter De Maria, and James Turrell, with a garden inspired by Monet.

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