This marks the beginning of a short series of posts that I will do in relation to a trip I took today to a popular island in the Seto Naikai, known as Naoshima. I took way to many pictures than I knew what to do with, so I’ve decided on this course of action. This installment will cover the ferry ride and sequence of events leading up to my adventure on Naoshima.
Here is the ferry that leaves for Naoshima. You may recall, in my previous island excursions to Teshima and Awashima, that the ferries were significantly smaller. Well, Naoshima is not only one of the most visited islands in the Seto Naikai, but it is also the gateway to a few of the other islands out there.
As Takamatsu slowly faded off into the distance, all my cares seemed to fade away right along with it… I don’t know what it is about ferries that can make me feel so at peace with the world. I do love the wind! There is nothing better than the feeling of a crisp cool sea breeze blowing across your sunbathed face. That, in conjunction with the unparalleled views of Japan’s Inland Sea, makes the whole experience one of my absolute favorite things I get to do in Japan.
The hour-long trip passes quickly between taking pictures and chatting with the six friends that I went with.
Soon enough, Naoshima’s trademark “red pumpkin” came into view, letting us know that we were in the right place. I’ve seen this piece of art many, many times before, but never in person. From what I’ve picked up over the months, it seems that for anybody visiting Naoshima, taking a picture with it is a right-of-passage to validate your visit to the island. As you’ll see later, I of course also partook in the tradition!
So actually, today’s trip was originally supposed to be to Inujima, a smaller island a bit further away. However, in order to get there, one must first stop on Naoshima, buy a new ticket, and board a different ferry. When we got to the ticket booth we discovered, to our (mostly my) dismay that a one-way ferry ticket to Inujima costs ¥1800!!! Multiply that by two and add it to the ¥1000 round-trip ticket to Naoshima, you got yourself a pretty hefty transportation cost!
…and that is how the group trip turned into my solo adventure of Naoshima! Out of everyone, I was the only person who hadn’t been to Naoshima before and, for whom the ticket was out of the price range; I physically couldn’t do it! After a quick group photo at the pumpkin, I told them to get going so as to not miss their ferry.
On the surface, this may seem as somewhat of a disappointment, but as most of you probably already know, I thrive on solo exploration, so that’s what I did!
Stayed tuned to check out how I experienced Naoshima. I can guarantee that it was not the standard tour!