Benesse Art Site Naoshima


Inujima Life Garden

Roughly 4,500 square meters of land has been used to create a botanical garden reflecting the natural environment and culture of Inujima, with a long-abandoned glass greenhouse as a centerpiece. It is not a conventional botanical garden, professionally landscaped so that people can visit and observe plant life, but rather a place where island residents and visitors can join in the process of reviving the land, and enjoy self-reliance in areas from food to energy while experiencing the joy of living within the cycles of nature.

While learning from island residents about how to harness the power of nature and vegetation in daily life, the garden aims through workshops and various activities to create environments and spaces for experiencing all that plants can offer, from food to fragrance, education, and recreation. At Inujima Life Garden, island residents and visitors can relax and learn from one another, thinking together about future lifestyles.

Hours & Admission

10:00 a.m.-4:30 p.m.
Please see Open Days Calendar for opening hours and closed days.

Please visit our Facebook page (Japanese only) to see our day-to-day activities and information about upcoming workshops.
Inujima Life Garden

ArtistKazuyo Sejima+Akaruiheya

Inujima Life Garden was realized through a collaboration between architect Kazuyo Sejima, who has been involved with the Inujima Art House Project open to the public since 2010, and Akaruiheya, which handled landscaping for the Inujima Art House Project (S Art House, A Art House, I Art House). The staff of Akaruiheya moved to the island of Inujima, and has been engaging with a wide range of people while working to create the botanical garden. The plan is to generate a space where visitors can connect to the island in new ways, one that takes shape over the long term through cooperation with island residents and visitors alike.

Kazuyo Sejima
Born in Ibaraki Prefecture in 1956, established Kazuyo Sejima & Associates in 1987, and in 1995 SANAA with Ryue Nishizawa. Awarded the Pritzker Architecture Prize* in 2010. Notable works include, "21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art, Kanazawa"* (2004, Ishikawa), Inujima "Art House Project," (2010, Okayama), "Rolex Learning Centre"* (2009, Switzerland), "Louvre Lens"* (2012, France), "Junko Fukutake Hall"* (2013, Okayama), "Grace Farms"*(2015, America). (* indicates realizations by SANAA)

A unit formed by Flower Designer, Yutaka Kizaki* and Community Garden Planner, Atsuo Hashizume, setting up shop in Shinagawa, Tokyo in 2005. Working around the theme "The joy of living with plants", the duo presents a range of activities to enjoy plants on various scales "from flowers bouquets to landscapes". Moved their production base to Inujima (Okayama Prefecture) in 2016 to develop a new lifestyle based on “all that plants can achieve". Representative planting projects to date include, "Kabaya Coffee" (2009, Tokyo), Inujima "Art House Project" S Art-House, A Art-House, I Art-House (2010, Okayama), "The Museum of Modern Japanese Literature" (2012, Tokyo), "SCAI THE BATHHOUSE" (2013, Tokyo), "S House Museum" (2016, Okayama).
* Mr. Kizaki passed away in February 2017.

Site Plan

A flower garden, with the glass greenhouse in its center, contains a wide variety of plants that delight the eye, and opposite the plaza is a vegetable garden where herbs, vegetables and fruit trees grow. In future, a bio-geo filter, biotope, composting area and so on are also to be used to build a natural energy system on the premises, while drawing water from a well that already existed on the site. Landscaping work began in the spring of 2015, and the garden is a work in progress, shaped on an ongoing basis through workshops and the involvement of many students and volunteers.

 Site Plan

Café&StoreInujima Life Garden Café

An open-air café stall designed by Kazuyo Sejima enables visitors to relax and enjoy a leisurely time in the garden. Its exterior walls, made of corrugated stainless steel, softly reflects the colorful vegetation and the surrounding light. In addition to takeout drinks, the café sells original goods from the botanical garden. In the future, it will also offer beverages and snacks made with herbs, vegetables, and fruit grown on the premises.

11:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m.
*Irregular opening, please ask staff for details.
Café&Store Inujima Life Garden Café


Workshops are held mainly on Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays. Even on days without workshops, there are a variety of programs, such as herb planting and vegetable harvesting, that people can freely participate in. Vegetables and other crops in fields are harvested when they are ripe, and harvesting is open to public participation (though there is no harvesting during certain seasons.)

Please visit our Facebook page (Japanese only) for information about upcoming workshops, details on other hands-on programs.



Requests to visitors

When visiting the garden
  • The garden is located in a residential area. Please observe good manners and consider the local residents when walking around the island.
  • ・Please take any garbage away with you.
  • ・When walking around the grounds, please do not pick vegetables, flowers, plants, etc. without permission.


50 Inujima, Higashi-ku, Okayama 7048153, Japan
Tel. +81-(0)86-947-1112 (Inujima Seirensho Art Museum)
Fax. +81-(0)86-947-1115
inquiry form