This is the beginning of the 10 Golden Week and already we are seeing a good number of visitors from overseas coming to enjoy the festivities. This is excellent, and very exciting. Takamatsu, being a port city is also very welcoming of cruising vessels as well, so it is wonderful when we see our region being a target destination for people interested in art, culture, and a Japanese experience much off the beaten path.
There are some guides that can be found on-line that detail what to see and do on the islands. Some are good, and some are quite helpful. I also really recommend you checking out the information booth in Takamatsu Station where you can get English advice about the things to see here in town. A map in hand is sometimes a welcome guide when WiFi is not entirely possible. The ferry terminal is also very close so that is easily accessible, and your “jumping off” point to enjoy the Setouchi Art Festival.
Maybe one of the most important things to remember is that there is no “single way” to enjoy the area, whether you visit Naoshima, Ogijima, or ride the JR trains all over Shikoku. Discover the area yourself, and enjoy the ride. People in Shikoku are, by and large, kind and thoughtful, so if you get stuck you will likely bump into someone who will help you on your way to the next destination.
Here is a basically comprehensive list of the links you will need to get all the info you require to make your Setouchi exploration unforgettable.
The Japan Guide page is nicely put together. Just the facts, and no “authoritative voice” to tell you how to enjoy the art you experience. Nice!!
Timetables for ferries. A must have.
The PDF version.
More information if you are coming in from Uno.
These two articles are by the same author who takes us through his experiences. Check it out.
And here is some information about the artists and their work if you would like the unfiltered background information.
You are in for a wonderful experience as you island hop around the Seto Inland Sea. There are a good number of local Japanese volunteers who are available to guide and support your time here. Much of what you will experience comes from their dedication to making the Art Festival great. Make sure to say, “Arigatou!” when you meet one.