Crossing Naoshima from Miyanoura to Honmura
Taking a shower in the morning, the electrical power lines are right outside the window. Electrical power service in Japan is always clearly visible.
I got a big breakfast at the Little Plum, a short distance from where I was staying at Domi Kowloon.
Salad, pickled vegetables, roll, scrambled eggs, sausages, and yogurt with jam. Plus coffee and water.
It was a darker day. I first walked down to the port. I needed to get my tickets for the Art House Project at the visitor center in the ferry terminal.
Some of the housing looks pre-fabricated, stacked like shipping containers.
Crossing the Island
There is a bus you can take across the island for just ¥100. But it's a pleasant walk, just a little over two kilometers with plenty to see along the way.
I'm leaving Miyanoura, walking across the island to Honmura.
I soon come to a small shrine along the road.
A box of flags is across the road. Later I come to a similar box further along the road. The section of road in between is narrow, like all the roads on the island, with small to non-existent shoulders and plenty of up and down to limit visibility. There is a school further along my walk. Children can pick up a flag, carry it for visibility, and deposit it in the box at the other end of that stretch.
This is the only school on the island, an elementary and junior high school. For high school, students take the ferry to Uno.
Houses are squeezed in between the hillside and the roadway.
Here comes that ¥100 cross-island bus, decorated with bright Yayoi dots. Unless I'm hallucinating the bus.
Almost all agriculturally promising land within Japan is used. There are almost no lawns of useless grass.
I'm coming into the edge of Honmura.
This is the new city hall.
Art House Project
The Art House Project was created by Benesse. They turned six traditional buildings over to contemporary artists, who then turned them into installations.
The Haisha House used to be a dentist's home and office. Now a space has been opened through both floors and the attic, housing a Statue of Liberty replica.
The bathroom is an exhibit of its own.
I turn north and follow narrow lanes through Honmura. The next Art House is a former rice warehouse.
I get lunch at one of the few restaurants. Salad, and curry rice with prawn and an onion ring. It's hard to predict the schedules of restaurants, bars, and cafes. Many are closed one day a week, but they pick different days. Most are open a few hours around meal times, but not to any standard schedule. Maybe 1630-1830, or maybe 1800-2000.
Moving on, I pass many electrical meters. Japanese residential electrical service is 100V AC. There is two phase power at the pole, so you could get 200V for an oven or furnace or air conditioner.
Most homes have just 30 amp service on a single phase, for 3,000 watts total. Some have both phases for 6,000 watts total, with the added service for major appliances and air conditioning.
A typical US blow-drier requires 1,600 watts, over half the total electrical power available to a typical Japanese home.
In the U.S., very old houses might have just 60 amp service. The U.S. National Electric Code requires at least 100 amp service for new installations, and 150 amp is common. Home panels for 200 and 400 amp service are available.
Fishing boats use the port in Honmura. There is ferry service to several nearby islands.
The entire Japanese archipelago is volcanic. During the last ice age, the sea level was significantly lower than it is today, and this area was a low dry basin with smaller peaks than the ranges to its north and south, on the now-separated Honshū and Shikoku islands.
The sea level rose, and eventually flooded into the low basin.
The result was almost 3,000 islands in the Seto Inland Sea.
Even the bicycle shelter is an art installation.
The Go'o Shrine is part of the Art House Project. Its staircase is formed by large glass blocks. Hiroshi Sugimoto designed this installation.
Below the rock field extending out from the shrine, there's a narrow underground Stone Chamber.
The ticket-taker will give you a flashlight, and point you past the old stele. Go slightly downhill, then turn back and enter the narrow passage.Neolithic kofun tombs
Twenty meters or more back that passage, it turns a right angle to the right and you're looking down the Stone Chamber under that rock field in front of the shrine. Very dim light is admitted through the glass block staircase, which continues down through the ground and to the floor of the chamber, which is a shallow pool of water. It isn't a kofun, but it made me think of one.
And more utility service: the above electrical service is unusual, 60 amp service to a significantly larger house, probably operating as a guesthouse.
Many homes use liquified petroleum gas from small canisters. It's a mix of propane and butane.
Then on through the small lanes of Honmura, between walls of charred cedar.
Then I came to a construction project. Amazing wood. They build homes with cabinet-grade wood.
The vertical studs fit into slots cut into the plates. Many of the pieces are 120×120 mm.
The larger pieces are made from four or five pieces glued together. Everything is so straight and smoothly cut that it's hard to spot the glued layers.
Evening in Miyanoura
I walked back to Miyanoura and got cleaned up. Then I went out for a late light dinner at Bar Saru.
Curry and rice, with an egg, the evening's special.
The above is specific to Naoshima. Or maybe you want to explore other places in Japan.
Akihabara, Tōkyō's Electric Town
Electronics parts and tools, the otaku lifestyle, cosplay, anime, and manga
Travel through Kyūshū, the Harbor, Temples, Shrines, the Samurai Path, and a World War II Bunker