Is the Bennesse Naoshima Worth It?

May 23rd, 2017, 12:41 PM
  #1  
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Is the Bennesse Naoshima Worth It?

Hello experts, my son is studying in Kyoto and I am joining him in June. We then we'll go to Naoshima Island for 2 nights. Naoshima is the "art island" and it looks great. But lodgings are very limited. I am over 60 and usually need a toilet visit during the night. I currently have 2 bookings: (1) cheap, but sleeping on futons on mats with shared bathroom and 4 cats who may awaken us in the night (according to reviews), or (2) in Park rooms at the famous Bennesse hotel, private bath, but $350/night. Plus it is isolated so one pays $85-120 PP for dinner, and $25 PP for breakfast. One major factor is that the Bennesse runs a private shuttle bus for its guests to visit the art around the island (otherwise you my have to walk), and picks up and drops off at the ferry. Because it will be the rainy season and possibly wet and muddy, I am thinking this is a necessary splurge to maintain sanity and well-being for the rest of my trip. The Bennesse and its restaurants get mixed reviews. I cannot bring myself to book dinner there the second night for another $200+ and thought we could pick up some groceries on the second day and picnic in the room. Is this worth it? Also, will we need museum reservations in June? Please chime in if you have been there and can advise. Thanks
wandermama is offline  
May 23rd, 2017, 01:46 PM
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I see I misspelled Benesse House. Hope this helps get a reply!
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May 23rd, 2017, 03:59 PM
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Below is a link to an article by Edmund de Waal, the artist and writer, which includes a description of his family's stay at the Benesse House. This may reassure you that it is worth the splurge - access to the art out of hours being a rare opportunity. De Waal, as evident in his pottery and his account of his family's netsuke collection (The Hare With the Amber Eyes), obviously has an affinity with Japanese culture but what I especially enjoy in the article is his account of his teenaged children's encounter with Japan.
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/travel/de...kyo-and-Kyoto/
Boveney is offline  
May 23rd, 2017, 04:48 PM
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Benesse House does look beautiful. I'm sure there would be nothing else as nice on the island and as Boveney says it has special advantages.

Have you seen this site

http://www.naoshima.net/en/access/access_from/

It is possible to get a town bus part of the way around the island and then the Benesse Shuttle for the rest as well on days the museum is open. There is a separate bus for guests of the hotel. Also taxi and hire cars are available ( and bikes/ electic bikes but if you are like me that woukd be a disaster)

There are other guesthouses listed on that site that you may not have seen but most seem to have shared bathrooms. There are a couple that are separate cottages but not very clear what they are like but maybe you can find out more.

I am trying to plan a trip and want to include Naoshima so would love to hear about your visit.
MaryW is offline  
May 23rd, 2017, 07:12 PM
  #5  
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These wondrous replies are why I love this site. I adored The Hare With the Amber Eyes, and it certainly makes me feel like Benesse is the right choice. My instincts tell me I am past the stage of finding it amusing to have cats awaken me when I am paying to sleep somewhere. Funnily enough I had also booked at the Park in Tokyo, which is the hotel de Waal dings at the beginning of the article. I will take another look at that one based on his comments, but I have also stayed in the past at the Cerulean, which also starts at the 25th floor and it was stupendous. It has gone up in price, though. The access information is helpful, but my concern is that June can be very rainy and everyone on the island will be trying to use the same transport to get around, and biking and walking won't be pleasant and maybe won't be possible. That is where the private Benesse shuttle comes in. It could be priceless at that point. I have reserved for the $117 PP Japanese/French fusion degustation dinner at Benesse, and am thinking on Day 2 we will stumble across something to take back to the hotel for a picnic dinner, so will economize like that. MaryW I will try to report back!
wandermama is offline  
May 23rd, 2017, 10:53 PM
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I think it would be easy to justify as a necessary splurge if you can find the money. Just think of the private time in the museum. And the rooms do look lovely. I looked at the meals which sound nice but are certainly expensive if its both nights. Perhaps you could eat in town and get a taxi back. I didn't look but what time do the shuttles stop?

A good few years ago I had the great privilege of spending a little time with Mr De Waal. He is one of the most unassuming people I have met and has the great ability to "see" things very much better than most. His work is wonderful. Having read that article it would sway me to find the cash if possible but certainly makles me sure that Naoshima is worthwhile in general.
MaryW is offline  
May 24th, 2017, 08:54 AM
  #7  
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It is a big splurge, but a necessary one, I have concluded. My son speaks Japanese and it will be meaningful to him to stay there, and we are both art lovers so wandering the museum late at night sounds cool. Unfortunately, from my research it seems the latest hotel shuttles do not allow dinner out at a reasonable time, and one is sort of forced to dine at the hotel restaurants. Dining a la carte is almost as expensive as the set dinners. But on Day 2 I thought I could figure out how to beat the system once I have the lay of the (is)land. From my research the French fusion restaurant sounded like it would be a better dining experience.

Depending on when you go, make sure to check the Naoshima museum calendars as to whether it is considered a busy time. http://ticket-basn.pia.jp/en/ Sometimes they sell tickets or take advance reservations. When I am going, for better or for worse, is not busy enough to do that. We will definitely plan to go to Teshima on Day 2.
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