The Chichu Art Museum (地中美術館, Chichū Bijutsukan) is a unique modern art museum built into a hillside overlooking the southern coast of Naoshima. The museum building, designed by Ando Tadao and itself a work of art, is mostly located underground and solely utilizes natural light to illuminate the artwork. This creates a viewing experience that is heavily influenced by the surrounding natural environment.
The museum has been built around a rather small collection of art. The first gallery displays large murals from Claude Monet's "Water Lilies" series. This is followed by a few works by James Turrell, who uses light as a medium. They include the "Open Sky" room from his "Skyspaces" series which has sister exhibits around the world including the 21st Century Museum in Kanazawa. Finally, the deepest part of the Chichu Museum houses the "Time/Timeless/No Time" installation by Walter De Maria.
Admission to the Chichu Art Museum requires advance reservations for a specific date and time slot and can be made online in English. Bags and cameras are not allowed in the museum and must be stowed in coin lockers before entering.
There are one or two buses per hour from Miyanoura Ferry Terminal via Honmura to the Tsutsujiso bus stop at the east gate of the Benesse House (10 minutes, 100 yen), from where it is possible to walk (30 minutes) or take a free shuttle bus to the Chichu Art Museum (10 minutes). Alternatively, the museum is about a two kilometer bicycle ride (10 minutes) or walk (30-40 minutes) from the Miyanoura ferry terminal.
From the Chichu Art Museum it is just a few minutes on the free shuttle bus to either the Lee Ufan Museum or the Benesse House. It is also possible to walk between the museums (5 and 15 minutes respectively).