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The Art Islands /Shikoku - best base?

As part of my 17 night trip I would like a relaxing stop in between the cities and like the idea of Shikoku and the art islands such as Neshima and Taoshima. I will be travelling in May, outside the Setouchi festival.
I have 3 nights and will be travelling by JRpass. Is Takamatsu reasonable as I can have easy access to the ferries? It seems a bit built up and in some ways I would prefer somewhere a bit more rural/coastal.
Any ideas?


  • There is more than just one place. If you want to see Naoshima, it is much closer to take a ferry from Uno, which is closer to Okayama City.
    For Teshima there are many ways you can do it, See:
  • Thanks Tenjin. I would quite like to base myself in one place for 3 nights so that I'm not always travelling. So somewhere nice with easy access to the various islands or alternative sights
    Any thoughts about the best base?
  • edited October 2016
    Strictly speaking, I'd say getting to both islands is better from Okayama City. That said, with a more holistic look at the region, Takamatsu is a much more interesting place than Okayama City, from my experience. In Okayama, the Korakuen Garden is rated as one of the Top 3 historic landscape gardens, but Takamatsu has the Ritsurin Garden which is excellent in its own right. It also has some other places worth seeing...for Okayama, the castle is meh, although Kurashiki is nice and not far. On the way to Takamatsu, it's also possible to stop off at Kotohira, which has one of the best half day hikes you'll ever take in your life.
    Ultimately I can't decide for you - if your sole interest is the islands, I'd say Okayama City. For overall places though, I'd say Takamatsu offers more.
    You can see some videos of the places I mention on
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