Join me this autumn on an adventure of Japan in the pursuit of art!


West Japan and the Inland Sea featuring the Setouchi Triennale with art specialist Anne Alene

November 12 - 22, 2016

This unique trip is an opportunity to explore Japan's art and culture while traveling amongst Japan's spectacular fall foliage, the quaint countryside and coastal landscapes of West Japan and the Seto Inland Sea. Asyour dedicated art specialist and bilingual tour leader, I will bring Japan alive for you and take you deep into the spirit of the arts of Japan and its people.

The group will gather in Osaka, and then travel through Western Japan, along the northern side of Shikoku and traverse the islands of the Inland Sea. We will visit to the pottery centre and medieval castle town of Hagi, then travel to Hiroshima and cross over to Shikoku Island, to the charming hot spring town of Dogo Onsen, castle city of Matsuyama, and the port city of Takamatsu.

Along the way we will visit historical sites, museums, influential individuals and community members of the regions and have intimate cultural experiences including visits to studios of ceramicists, indigo dyers, bamboo artisans, sculptors and washi paper artisans.

Most important is that the trip is designed with the final destination goal as the Naoshima Islands, where we will have four days of comprehensive visits to the contemporary art sites and installations of the Benesse Art Site and the 2016 Setouchi Triennale.


  • Journey in Japan with me as your enthusiastic Japanese art and culture specialist who has been planning and leading trips to Japan for nearly twenty years.

  • Travel on Japan's efficient, friendly and accommodating transportation system including on the renowned shinkansen bullet train, express and local trains, boats and ferries.

  • Learn about the aesthetic of Japanese ceramics, arts and fine crafts, from traditional to contemporary, and their unique qualities as they pertain to the regions of West Japan, Shikoku and the Seto Inland Sea.Explore coastal landscapes, small towns, historically preserved and restored villages, and provincial cities that highlight their distinctive heritages along within Japanese history

  • Discover charming shops, galleries, museums, castles, and gardens and temples of the regions.Meet local artists and people whose lives revolve around the beautiful communities of these areas, to hear their stories about their work and lives, and who are charming representatives of Japan's rich culture, artistic history and culture.

  • Enjoy the local and seasonal Japanese cuisine, which varies even from region to region, at delightful local establishments and hotel properties.

  • Visit the sacred shrines and temples associated with the inland sea and with the Shikoku junrei pilgrimage route designed by ninth-century Buddhist master, Kobo Daishi.

  • Thoroughly investigate and experience the Naoshima Islands Benesse Art Site and the 2016 Setouchi Triennale with me as your art specialist who has been traveling to Naoshima since its early stages and sharing its important mission for almost 20 years.

November 11 (Friday)

International flights to Japan

November 12 (Saturday)

Arrive in OsakaPrivate transfer to hotel

Meet me for a light dinner in the hotel. Overnight: Courtyard Marriott Shin-Osaka

November 13 (Sunday)

Travel from Osaka to the small castle town of Hagi via Shinkansen bullet train and bus.Studio visits of Hagi ceramic artists

Kaiseki Dinner at Hagi Kanko Hotel

Accommodations: Hagi Kanko Hotel

November 14 (Monday)

Studios and kilns of Hagi ceramic artists

Hagi Castle, local shops, galleries and lunch 

Hagi Uragami Museum of Ceramics

Dinner in downtown Hagi at a friend's restaurant 

Accommodations: Hagi Kanko Hotel

November 15 (Tuesday)

Travel to Hiroshima via bus and shinkansen bullet train 

Hiroshima Peace Memorial

Lunch - Okonomiyaki in Hiroshima Peace Park 

Hiroshima Museum of Contemporary Art

Hiroshima to Matsuyama via high-speed boat 

Accommodations: Hotel Tsubaki-an at Dogo Onsen

November 16 (Wednesday)

Travel by local trains, bus and on foot Matsuyama Castle

Lunch - famous Shikoku udon noodles

Shikoku junrei pilgrimage temples

Japanese banquet dinner at Hotel Tsubaki-kan 

Accommodations: Hotel Tsubaki-an at Dogo Onsen

November 17 (Thursday)

Travel by local trains and bus

Konpira Shrine

Noguchi Museum

Indigo dyer's workshop

Lunch - Shikoku's famous udon 

Accommodations: Takamatsu Hotel Clement

November 18 (Friday)

Tea ceremony at Ritsurinkoen garden 

Ferry from Takamatsu to Naoshima 

Lunch in Honmura Village

Naoshima House Projects

Chichu Museum

Lee Ufan Museum

New sites from the Setouchi Triennale 3rd Edition 

Dinner at Issen - seafood delicacies of the Inland Sea 

Accommodations: Benesse Park Hotel

November 19 (Saturday)

Interisland ferries to Teshima 

Teshima Museum

Christian Boltanski's Heart Archive 

Lunch on Teshima

New sites of the Setouchi Triennale 3rd Edition 

Japanese barbecue dinner 

Accommodations: Benesse Park Hotel

November 20 (Sunday)

Interisland ferries to Teshima

Inujima Seirensho Museum

Inujima House Projects

Lunch on Inujima Island

New sites of the Setouchi Triennale 3rd Edition 

Transfer to Ushimado Hotel Limani

Dinner at Hotel Limani

Accommodations: Ushimado Hotel Limani

November 21 (Monday)

Interisland ferries to Shodoshima

Lunch on Shodoshima

Local artisan's studio

New sites of the Setouchi Triennale 3rd Edition 

Farewell dinner in Ushimado 

Accommodations: Ushimado Hotel Limani

November 22 (Tuesday)

Visit to World's Largest Kiln

Transfer to Osaka via coach, shinkansen bullet train and express train for international departures from Osaka-Kansai International Airport or from Osaka-Itami Airport

The price is $7500.00 USD double occupancy, which includes

  • Airport transfer upon arrival into Japan via private reserved shuttle between Osaka-Itami/Osaka-Kansai and Osaka hotel property

  • Accommodations for 10 nights in Osaka, Hagi, Dogo Hot Springs (Matsuyama), Takamatsu, Naoshima, and Ushimado.

  • Full-time commentary and facilitation by Anne Alene, art specialist and fluent in English and Japanese, using a radio headset system

  • All group transportation by shinkansen bullet train, express and local trains, public and hired buses, ferries and chartered boats, and taxis

  • Overnight luggage courier service between Osaka and Hagi, Hagi and Naoshima, Naoshima and departing airport

  • All admissions including for the Setouchi Triennale and Benesse Art Site permanent installations

  • All breakfast, lunches and dinnersAirport transfer for international departure between Okayama and Osaka-Itami/Osaka-Kansai via combination of reserved shuttle, bullet train and express train.

  • Single supplements are available upon request at $1400 USD

NOTE: The group size is limited to 16 and the price is based on a minimum of 10 guests. The price may be adjusted at the time of final payment to accommodate currency fluctuation. It is recommended to arrange flights in order to arrive at and depart out of Osaka-Kansai International or Osaka-Itami Airport. Please ask for recommended flight patterns based on your departing airport, so I can provide the best timing for your arrival to Japan and return home.

Registration is based on a first come first served basis. Your precious spot on the trip can be confirmed with a 20% deposit that is applied towards the final balance.

Look forward to traveling with you! 


P.S. Good news - I finished a graduate thesis and master's program in Art History! I am so grateful to all of YOU for your encouragement and support.


Anne Alene, M.A.

Art Travel LLC





Anne Alene