To visit Antony Gormley's "Another Time" — a life-sized iron figure which looks eastward across Oita Prefecture's Sento district of Kunisaki from atop a mountain ledge — is a breathtaking experience. Not just because it's a stong piece of art or that the location offers a stunning vista of verdant treetops and rolling hillsides, but because it also involves a bit of a trek to get to it — 20 minutes if you start from the reception hut, 70 if you take the full hiking course.

The artwork is just one of the exhibits of the Kunisaki Art Festival, which opened in early October and runs until Nov. 30. And its remote location, via makeshift paths and past the area's famous animistic stone monuments, is as much part of the attraction as the sculpture itself.

Director Junya Yamaide, who is known for his stewardship of the Beppu Mixed Bathing World Triennale, says the Kunisaki Art Festival's aim is to "restore physicality to reality" — to draw the public away from online communities and remind them to interact with the real, physical world. It also seeks to help restore vitality to an area of aging population and, like several similar art festivals in Japan, involves re-purposing abandoned buildings, as well as the collaboration of locals.