Located between Honshu and Shikoku are a number of small islands that form the key features of the Seto Inland Sea. In order to invigorate the local culture and economy, a few have in recent years fostered an arts initiative. One of them - the delightful, small island of Naoshima (Kagawa Prefecture) - now complements its sandy beaches and pretty countryside with a range of galleries and outdoor exhibits that dot the island, and provide a fun search-and-discover adventure in extremely pleasant surroundings. If based on the Shikoku mainland or Okayama Prefecture, Naoshima is certainly doable as a day trip. If travelling from further afield, make use of one of the many cheap lodgings on the island, run by the welcoming locals.
One of the 100 hidden towns in Japan chosen for this publication.