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Japan's 'art island' of Naoshima enjoys real estate renaissance

Land prices rise for 2 years running as visitors rush in and a lucky few stay

"Three squares," an art installation on Naoshima by George Rickey. (Getty Images)

TAKAMATSU, Japan -- A tiny Japanese island famed for modern art and architecture is experiencing a mini real estate boom, in a break with the recent narrative of far-flung communities struggling with demographic decline.

Property values have risen for two straight years on Naoshima, a roughly 14-sq.-km speck in the picturesque Seto Inland Sea. Data released last month by Kagawa Prefecture, which administers the island town, shows the average price of land for all purposes was up 1.3% on the year as of July 1, beating the previous year's increase by 0.4 of a point.

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