6 Tips for Visiting the Setouchi Triennale 2019
Also read our other article: Setouchi Triennale 2019: Which Artworks Should You Visit?
What Kind of Event Is the Setouchi Triennale?The Setouchi Triennale is a collection of over 210 works by world-class artists and emerging young artists. 2019 will be the fourth time the festival has been held and it will run for 107 days spanning three seasons: spring, summer and autumn.
Different themes and events are scheduled for each season. It's important to know that not all art installations run for all three seasons, some are only open is spring or in autumn. If there is something in particular that you want to see, it's best to check in advance for each exhibition's schedule.
Tip 1: The 3-Day Unlimited Ferry Pass Will Help You Get Around!The festival is scattered across 12 islands and two ports in the vast Seto Inland Sea. The only way of hopping from island to island is by taking a ferry or a high-speed boat. If you are spending a few days at the festival we recommend picking up a 3-Day Ferry Pass.
The pass allows you to freely travel eight routes that connect five of the islands. Not only does the pass save you money on the fares, but it saves you time since you don’t need to wait in line to buy a ticket each time to board.
You can purchase the pass at the ticket office in the ports (2,500 yen for adults and 1,250 yen for children). Please note that in autumn three more islands are added to the festival, Takamijima, Awajima, and Ibukijima. These islands are not included in the 3-Day Ferry Pass so you'll have to purchase separate tickets if you want to visit them.
Tip 2: Plan to Spend a Day on the Large Islands and Half a Day on the Small IslandsMake sure you have enough time to take in all the sights and enjoy the art and islands. On average, plan to spend a whole day on the big islands and half a day on the smaller islands. The festival showcases a large number of works so at least a 3 night stay is recommended to take in the atmosphere.
Make sure you have enough time to take in all the sights and enjoy the art and islands. On average, plan to spend a whole day on the big islands and half a day on the smaller islands. The festival showcases a large number of works so at least a 3 night stay is recommended to take in the atmosphere.
Tip 3: Stay in Takamatsu and Make Your Reservations EarlyTakamatsu Port is not only one of the venues for the festival, but also a gateway to many of the islands on the Seto Inland Sea. Ferries departing from the port provide access to the eastern islands of the festival. Additonally, the JR Takamatsu train station and bus stop is only about 5 minutes away on foot. From there you can also travel to the western islands.
There are many hotels and other accommodations in Takamatsu City and we recommend you look here first when booking. However, the islands (especially Naoshima and Shodoshima) also have lodging facilities. Staying on one of the islands can be a great way to experience life on the Seto Island Sea. Wherever you choose to stay, be sure to book early. Large crowds are expected during the festival so get your reservations in as soon as possible.
Tip 4: The Triennale Passport Is Worth It!The exhibitions are found both indoors and outdoors. While the outdoor exhibitions can be enjoyed freely, most of the indoor facilities require a ticket that can be purchased on site. If you are planning on travelling around the islands and seeing a lot of them, buying a Triennale Passport will save you some money.
【Single Season Passport】
Adults 4,000 yen, 16-18 years old 2,500 yen, free of charge for children under 15
*Valid for any one season of the Setouchi Triennale 2019: spring, summer or autumn.
【3 Season Passport】
Adults 4,800 yen, 16-18 years old 3,000 yen, free of charge for children under 15
*Valid throughout all three seasons of the Setouchi Triennale 2019
For example, if you were to visit all of the paid exhibitions on Naoshima Island, that alone would cost you a total of 6,690 yen. So the passport ticket is definitely worth it.
*Note that some works require additional fees. Please check the official site for details.
You can purchase the Triennale Passport at many places including the Takamatsu Port General Information Center, Takamatsu Port Ferry Pier, and the information offices on each island.
Tip 5: Get Around the Islands by Bus and on Foot, but We Also Recommend a Bike!Outdoor exhibits can be seen at anytime during the festival. However, indoor ones are mainly from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.. Be sure to check with the official website or your guidebook to get the most up-to-date opening times. Plan your day around what works you want to see most.
On the smaller islands like Oshima and Ogijima you can walk from exhibit to exhibit but we recommend taking a bus on the larger islands. Some islands offer rental bicycles. This is a great choice for those who want to slowly explore at their own pace while enjoying the nature and beautiful scenery. Just be prepared! The islands have many slopes and it can be a really challenging ride. You might want to consider renting an electric assisted bicycle if you’re not a seasoned rider.
Tip 6: Enjoy the Local Island CuisineAside from the amazing art that is on display, don't forget one of the best things about the Setouchi area, the food! Sample all the local fresh seafood and delicious vegtables from the Setouchi area. During the festival there are a number of food-themed projects on display that you can enjoy will all fives of your senses.
Popular resturants will often have long lines so it is best to make reservations in advance or eat a bit later. You also might want to keep some snacks with you just in case.
Get to the Festival PreparedThe Setouchi Triennale is only held once every three years so a little bit of planning is worth the effort. First choose what art works you want to see, then plan your own personal tour. We hope that our tips will help you get you on the right track!
Setouchi Triennale 2019 | 瀬戸内国際芸術祭2019
・Spring Encounters (Spring Session): April 26-May 26, 2019 * Ended
・Summer Gatherings (Summer Session): July 19-August 25, 2019
・Fall Expansions (Autumn Session): September 28-November 4, 2019
Place: 12 islands in the Seto Inland Sea
(Naoshima / Teshima / Megijima / Ogijima / Shodoshima / Oshima / Inujima / Shamijima [Spring Only] / Honjima [Autumn Only] / Takamijima [Autumn Only] / Awashima [Autumn Only] / Ibukijima [Autumn Only]) + Takamatsu Port, Uno Port
Fee: Varies depending on the work.
Triennale Passports are also available.
【Single Season Passport】Adult 4,000 yen, 16-18 years old 2,500 yen, free of charge for children under 15
【3 Season Passport】4,800 yen for adults, 16-18 years old 3,000 yen, free of charge for children under 15
*Valid throughout all three seasons of the Setouchi Triennale 2019
*The above article is based on information from April 2019.
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THIS ARTICLE IS BASED ON INFORMATION FROM 08 03,2019 Author：DiGJAPAN! Editorial Team