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The most inspiring travel experiences are the ones that stay with you far beyond the departure gate. One that lingers is a visit to the island of Naoshima, Japan, the largest and most famous of 12 islands that participate in the Setouchi Triennale Art Festival. Having been mesmerised by Japan’s most prominent cities (Tokyo, Kyoto and Osaka), arriving in Naoshima was an utterly enchanting “escape to the country”. The island is somewhat of a playground for Ando, having also designed the incredible Lee Ufan Museum and Chichu Art Museum. At the latter, a purpose built room houses Claude Monet’s Water Lillies; a true spectacle. An almost spiritual experience with distinctly Japanese reverence; a visit to see Monet at Musée de l’Orangerie in Paris years later was rather underwhelming by comparison. A lesser known Naoshima highlight but equally impressive is Naoshima Hall by Hiroshi Sambuichi (pictured). Located on the eastern side of the island in the village of Honmura, Sambuichi spent two and a half years studying its sun, wind and water patterns before embarking on the project. Measuring around 1000 square metres, it is made up of a large multipurpose hall, a smaller community centre, and a moss garden, which is bordered by a pond. We happened upon the hall by chance, having seen its defining Hinoki cypress roofline from afar. While other sites might be more obvious, to visit Naoshima and not experience this incredible building – even if only to peer through its windows – would be a miss. Learn more via Artspace. Photography courtesy of Hiroshi Sambuichi.