About the project

Creative Island Lab Nakanoshima

Nakanoshima is an island in the Kita ward of Osaka, measuring around 3km from east to west and lying between the Dojimagawa and Tosaborigawa rivers. Similar to sites in other global cities like the Île de la Cité in Paris or Museum Island in Berlin, it demonstrates the rich potential for urban islands to function as multilayered historical and cultural hubs.

Creative Island Lab Nakanoshima is a wide-ranging and experimental project that treats the entire Nakanoshima area like a creative laboratory offering a sustainable environment for culture and the arts.

Through field research by artists, partnerships with cultural organizations in Nakanoshima, and symposia, the project aspires to develop creative geological surveys for re-cultivating the city as well as to construct a cultural network in the area and discover fresh approaches.

Four Experiments

Experiment 1: Nakanoshima Field Research by Artists

The project organizes research programs where artists and researchers reinterpret Nakanoshima from their unique perspectives. The research processes and concepts that emerge are shared publicly online and through public talks.

Experiment 2: Partner Events by the Nakanoshima Cultural Network

In partnership with 19 cultural facilities and organizations based in the Nakanoshima area, including art museums, halls, a science museum, and library, the project runs events and programs that unravel the potential and appeal of various locations in Nakanoshima from the creative perspectives of outside artists and specialists.
☞ News

Experiment 3: Symposium Events

Welcoming cultural policy practitioners from overseas as guest speakers, the project’s symposia explore ideas and practices about the relationship between creative cities and the arts.

Experiment 4: Online Project Archive

This website is an archive of the various research outputs, talks, tours, and other events. The site functions as a concept map for inspiring future projects.
☞ Report


Stretching around 3km from east to west between the rivers of Dojimagawa and Tosaborigawa in Osaka’s Kita ward, the island of Nakanoshima was developed from the 16th century and formed part of the water transport route between Kyoto and Osaka. As the location for numerous storehouses owned by barons from all over the country, it would evolve over the Edo period into the nexus of Osaka’s reputation as the “kitchen of the nation.”

It remained a key economic and cultural hub in Japan throughout the Taisho and early Showa periods when Osaka achieved the height of its prosperity and became the largest city nationwide. Regarded as a district with particular potential for raising Osaka’s competitiveness with other cities around the world, Nakanoshima is today an officially designated “urgent urban renewal area” and various redevelopment projects are now underway.

On the other hand, the island continues to retain a strong identity as central to Osaka’s cultural life. Historical buildings symbolic of Japan’s modernization are preserved and still in use, while it also hosts a range of cultural institutions, from art museums to halls and a library.

中之島 中之島
☞Visit Nakanoshima


City Geology Survey and Re-cultivation Project
Creative Island Lab Nakanoshima

Supported by the Agency for Cultural Affairs Government of Japan in the fiscal 2018
Organized by Art Area B1 (Osaka University, NPO Dance Box and Keihan Holdings Co., Ltd.)
Co-organized by Osaka University Co-Creation Bureau
連携機関:Osaka City Central Public Hall / Osaka City Central Public Hall / Osaka Science Museum/ The Museum of Oriental Ceramics, Osaka / Nakanoshima Museum of Art, Osaka Planning Office / Osaka University Nakanoshima Center / Osaka International Convention Center / Osaka Prefectural Nakanoshima Library / The National Museum of Art, Osaka / Tekijuku / Dojima River Forum / Nakanoshima Kosetsu Museum of Art / Festival Hall / ABC Hall / graf studio

Inquiry / event reservation


TEL +81 (0)6-6226-4006
FAX +81(0)6-6226-7299

Creative Island Lab Nakanoshima Office
Art Area B1
Closed on Mondays (or, if Monday is a national holiday, the following Tuesday)
Keihan Naniwa-bashi Station B1, 1-1-1 Nakanoshima, Kita-ku, Osaka 5300005 JAPAN

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