I recently visited Naoshima, an island in the Inland Sea, for the first time. Formerly an industrial waste dumpsite, the island has been converted into an art lover’s mecca. I had a chance to visit a couple of art museums, as well as the delightfully kitschy 007 Museum, near the harbor.
Here is the entrance. Although I had to change out of my shoes and into slippers to view the Monet at the Chichu Art Museum (which has only three exhibits total, two of them inaccessible by wheelchair), this place invited visitors to step inside shoes and all. Paperbacks of James Bond novels, movie posters, and guns (movie props?) were encased in glass.
And there was this big heart thing, that must have something to do with the James Bond novel, “The Man with the Red Tattoo,” by Raymond Benson, which takes place partly on Naoshima.
Supposedly, Benson visited the island and loved it so much, that he set his book there, hoping that movie makers would then use the island as a film location. Although signatures are still being collected, Hollywood has yet to call.
There’s a little cafe connected to the museum. While not a “must-see,” the 007 Museum is free, and the perfect low-brow antidote to the “slippers only” exhibits up in the hills.