Inujima (犬島) is an artistic island in Okayama City. Fine-quality copper and granite used to be produced from the island’s copper smelter and granite quarry. The foundation stones of famous castles such as Osaka Castle across Japan might be coming out from Inujima!
Nowadays, the islanders don’t earn their living from heavy industry anymore. Instead, they work with artists, transforming their hometown into an art paradise!
The old houses and the remains of the copper refinery are now artworks themselves. As photography isn’t allowed inside any of these art museums, small or big, you need to be there personally to experience the impact that these artworks will bring to you (=ﾟωﾟ)ﾉ.
And in case you were confused about whether the dogs on the island outnumber the humans, the answer is no. Although the island’s name is “dog (inu in Japanese)”, unfortunately, you won’t find many dogs that might come up to you for a pat. You, however, may want a selfie with this one coming out of this house’s garage (≧▽≦).
Tip: Make sure you get your admission tickets at Inujima Ticket Center (犬島チケットセンター) just at the Inujima Port!
Inujima Seirensho Art Museum (犬島精錬所美術館)
When you come to Inujima, the Inujima Seirensho Art Museum is a “must-visit”. Seeing how the Japanese turn the worthless ruins of a former copper refinery into one of the venues of the Setouchi International Art Triennale (瀬戸内国際芸術祭) is simply just amazing!
Although the admission fee isn’t cheap (2,100 yen), it allows you to enter not only the Inujima Seirensho Art Museum but also the Inujima House Project (犬島ハウスプロジェクト) – where the local houses were transformed into artworks, and the Inujima Life Garden (犬島 くらしの植物園).
For more information about the museum, please refer to their English official website HERE.
Tip: For our vegetarian friends, please ask the staff in the museum cafe for vegetarian menus!
Spending a Night at Okayama City Municipal Inujima Nature House
If you would like to stay on the island overnight, the Okayama City Municipal Inujima Nature House (岡山市立 犬島自然の家) is a good option.
The facility was renovated from an elementary school. With as low as 1,460 yen per person (730 yen for children from 4 to junior high school students), you can spend a night in one of their Japanese-style rooms. The Western-style room is more expensive at 2,090 yen (1,040 yen for children).
- Meals aren’t included in the accommodation fee. You can, however, bring your own ingredients and cook in the kitchen.
- The shower facility will cost 100 yen (50 yen for children) per use.
- Please bring your amenities.
Kayaking on Inujima Island
Whether you stay at Inujima Nature House, you can rent their kayaks for 310 yen from the 15th of April to the 15th of October.
There are two sessions per day, one in the morning and one in the afternoon.
- Morning session
- Registration closes at 8:45 am.
- The session runs from 9 to 11 am, including one hour of kayaking and showering.
- Afternoon session
- Registration closes at 1:30 pm
- The session runs from 1:30 to 3 pm, including one hour of kayaking and shower time
- The cost of showering is 100 yen (50 yen for children)
☛ To participate in kayaking, you have to be at least a fourth-grade student in elementary school.
☛ If the sea’s condition isn’t suitable for kayaking, the activity will be canceled for your safety.
☛ The Nature House is closed on Tuesdays except from the 15th of July to the 31st of August. If Tuesday is a public holiday, the Nature House will close on the next business day instead. The Nature House is also closed from the 29th of December to the 3rd of March.
☛ There are no grocery stores or supermarkets on the island, so you will need to source the ingredients that you want to cook before you hop on the ferry.
To make a booking, please email [email protected] your intended date of visit at least 10 days before your arrival. Please note that they don’t have staff who can speak English. If you need help with your booking, you can let us know HERE, and we will assist you with drafting the email for booking.
Camping at Inujima
There is also a campsite at Inujima for anyone who fancies a night on the coastline. The site is open from the 15th of April to the 15th of October. Everything you need for a comfortable night in the tent can be rented from the Administration Office.
Reservation is essential and has to be made at least 10 days before arrival. At the moment, you can only book by calling them at +81-86-947-1550 during their business hours between 9 am and 4:30 pm.
Please note the campsite is closed on Tuesdays except between the 15th of July to the 31st of August. If Tuesday is a public holiday, the campsite will close on the next business day instead. This means on Monday, you can only do a day camp, which is from 10 am to 2 pm.
Check-in time is between 2 pm to 4 pm, and please check out by 10 am the next day.
For a list of items that can be rented out and the campsite usage charges, please refer to their website HERE and translate it by Google Chrome’s translation function at the right of the address bar. If you still have issues reading the website, you can contact us HERE, and we will get back to you.
How to Get to Inujima
Explore the Main Venue of the Setouchi International Art Festival – Naoshima
If you love visiting art galleries and enjoying contemporary artworks, then you have to visit Setouchi International Art Festival’s main venue, Naoshima.
The island just a ferry ride away from Inujima has many more interesting artworks awaiting your visit.
And if you are a fan of the famous Japanese architect – Andō Tadao (安藤忠雄), then it will be a pilgrimage trip for you once you set foot on Naoshima. Not only is there an ANDO MUSEUM, but many museums were also designed by this architecture master!
To find out more about this island with fantastic artworks, please refer to our article on Naoshima!