My Traditional Japanese Ceramics Dream Trip

My Traditional Japanese Ceramics Dream Trip

I love Japan, and I love beautiful things. So it comes as a surprise that I have never been deeply into the art of Japanese ceramics. Until now!

Japanese Ceramics are worth seeking out

I was lucky enough to visit Japan a few times, and often I would go to one of the small shops in or near Tsukiji Fish Market and pick up some pretty but inexpensive bowls, sake cups and rectangular plates.  Or a bento box. I bought a small vase in a flea market in Himeji and marveled at its perfectly imperfect irregular shape.

But arty and handmade Japanese  ceramics? Nah. It came gradually after I admired a traditional tea bowl (chawan) owned by a friend, witnessed a tea ceremony in a museum in Stuttgart and watched endlessly calming videos of making tea bowls online.

In a former home, there was  a ceramics workshop open to the public. Can you guess what comes next? One of the first things I tried to make as a Japanese ceramic tea bowl. I now have about five rather misshaped crazy glazed tea bowls, none of which resembles an artful Japanese tea bowl. I am planning to return to Japan in 2020, and although it’s unlikely that it turns into a full-flown pottery trip, a little bit of pottery will find its way in, and as we say in Germany  – “The greatest pleasure lies in the anticipation” – let me share with you the traditional ceramic centres of Japan.

As I have been to only a few of these places, and rarely got hooked on pottery, this post is low in pictures.  I have used mostly Creative Commons Images that other photographers kindly made available

And here comes the Grand Pottery Tour

Where to start our trip on Japanese ceramics? We could start with the Six Ancient kilns, deemed to be the most important sites for the production of ceramics in  Japan.

They are, East to West, North to South: Tokoname, Seto, Echizen, Shigaraki, Tanba and Bizen. Then I researched a bit more, so, I have come up with this rather epic trip.

Sorted from the furthest north towards the South and West, I have included

Mashiko / Tokoname / Echizen /  Seto / Shigaraki /Kyo /Bizen / Hagi and Arita

Given that I would be unlikely to hire a car and drive in Japan, and that the train is the most ubiquitous, most reliable mode of transport, I also  researched mostly train connections rather than roads and buses.

Remember that if you have a JR Rail pass, most of these trips will be included, unless you travel on private train lines. Even some buses are included in the Rail pass. In the UK, I bought my Japan Rail Pass form the Japan Centre in London, which was extremely straightforward. For online purchases, Japan experience seems to be able to sell it in most European countries online. To cover ALL of the areas listed there, you will need the standard Japan rail pass.

Mashiko Pottery

What makes it special?

Mashiko has only really been a pottery centre since the mid-1800’s, was made famous with the revival of the folk craft movement related to designer Shoji Hamada from the 1920’s, and has relatively many expat potters from other countries. It style… simple and rustic, yet with a modernist touch. Looks like a lot of the output is everyday dining ware.

Where can I find it?

In the town of Mashiko in Tochigi Prefecture in Kanto Province just north of Tokyo

Getting there

It’s practically a suburb of Tokyo  yet appears to take unusually long to reach.  Take the Tohoku Shinkansen to Oyama, then change onto the smaller JR Mito line to Shimodate, then the JR Moka Line to Mashiko. Altogether about 2 hours. Another option is to continue on the Tohoku Shinkansen to Utsunomiya, then take  a bus, also about two hours in total.

What’s there?

The Shijo Hamada Memorial Museum and a Pottery Theme Park, which has an on-site ceramic studio.

Mashiko Pottery. Photo by Jennifer Pack (Flickr)

Tokoname Pottery

What makes it special?

It is the most northerly of the six ancient kilns of Japan. Its traditional style wares are reddish-brown clay due to high iron content with little or no glazing. During the industrial revolution,, a lot of the production was switched to utility products and building materials such as tiles, but the area is also famous for its teapots.

Where can I find it?

Tokoname Town (South of Nagoya), Aichi Prefecture

Getting there

JR Shinkansen to Nagoya, then local train, about 40min

What’s there?

Internet research shows that Tokoname is a small traditional town. A few minutes walk from the train station, you will find Tokoname City Pottery Footpath, lines with shops and workshops, with very little large-scale production and altogether a rather quiet place. However, some well-known artists still operate in the area, but I have no information on whether they are open to the public.

Tokoname Pottery. Photograph by Christian Kaden (Flickr)

Echizen Pottery

In lieu of a free and legal photo of the Echizen ware, here’s a link to the rather cool  Echizen Ware Industrial Cooperative Association  with links to local potters, which show a variety of styles rather than the traditional brown pots!

What makes it special?

Similar to Tokoname, a very reddish-brown, often more brownish, little-glazed variety of mostly utilitarian vessels. Echizen also produces a lot of the Washi paper used in Japan today. Oh, and artisan knife-making and soba noodle production.

Where can I find it?

In Echizen, Fukui Prefecture, northwest of Nagoya, almost on the Western Coast of Japan

Getting there

Despite it being fairly remote from any big city, there are many (and somewhat complicated) ways to get there: the most straightforward is JR Tokaido SHinkansen to Maibara, then JR Hokuriku Line to Takefu. Another option when coming from Osaka are the  JR Raicho and Thunderbird Limited Express Services which take about 1.5 to 2 hours. Also, there is the private Kosai line from Tsuruga to Kyoto and Osaka.

What’s there?

Its seems, quite a lot! Or their tourist board is very active. I counted no less than 14 shrines or temples, a “knife village”, a “soba village”, a few places related to paper milling, and, of course, a pottery village. The pottery village has a very appealing website, and offers a lot of activities, and there is a large pottery festival in May.

Seto Pottery

What makes it special?

Some of the most famous Japanese ceramics and also one of the six ancient kilns. The Japanese term “Setomono” literally means “ceramics”. There are various sub-types, some of the better known stoneware with yellowish smooth glazes called Shino ware, and also blue- and- white porcelain, mostly antique, resembling antique Chinese porcelain.

Where can I find it?

Around Seto, Northern Aichi Prefecture.

Getting there

Despite being central, its a bit complicated: From Nagoya, take the JR Chuo Line to Ozone, then the private Meitetsu line to Seto. From Kyoto, go to Nagoya first on the Shinkansen.

What’s there?

There doesn’t seem to be a lot, ceramics-wise. All I could find on searching the net was the Seto Municipal Center of Multimedia and Traditional Ceramics.  There is also the separate Seto Glass and Ceramics Art Center, which is more like an exhibition of pottery.  However, if you are into cars, the Toyota Museum is nearby!

Seto Pottery. Photo by pixel sky (Flickr)

Shigaraki Pottery

What makes it special?

Firstly… this is the place where  many tanuki, or racoon dog statues, are made! They even populate the platforms of the train station! So you get two traditions in one town

The local clay is sandy and of a yellow colour, and traditional pieces have been described as rather archaic in shape. Their natural glazes can be pleasingly gold to yellow in tone.

Where can I find it?

In Shiga Prefecture, Kansai Region, Western Honshu. Its Capital is the City of Ōtsu.

Getting there

On the Tokaido Line (not Shinkansen!) from Kyoto JR Station or Osaka (or Nagoya) to Kusatsu Station. Then, change onto a JR train to Kibukawa. THEN… another train on the private Omi or the Shigaraki Kogen Railway.

The MIHO Museum can be reached by JR train from JR Kyoto to  Ishiyama on the JR Tokaido Line, then by bus. Between Shigaraki and the MIHO Museum, although they are maybe 5km apart, there is no public transport! So, perhaps a taxi.  An alternative would be an organised tour out of Kyoto or Osaka which combines the two sites.

What’s there?

First of all, try to combine a trip to Shigaraki with the visit to the modernist MIHO Museum which holds a large private collection of crafts from all over the world. And yes, there is another Ceramic Cultural Park, but it’s said to be quiet, with a heavy emphasis on racoon dogs, and with lots of showrooms.  Also, Koka town is known for its ninja association, with the appropriately named “village” and museum.

Photo by Ryosuke Yagi (Flickr)

Kyo Pottery

Most Japan trips will include a visit to Kyoto, where locally made ceramics called Kiyomizu-yaki or Kiyo-yaki, are very accessible. Visiting the actual ateliers or kilns is a different matter.

What makes it special?

Perhaps the variety of styles? All Kyo ware is produced in Kyoto, and that’s what they have in common. Well known styles include Raku ware, fired at low temperature with soft glazes and reduced, and famous in Europe. Many of my beloved tea bowls, and many of those teabowls you can admire online, care raku fired.

Another well-known type is Kiyomizu-ware, made in a district around Kiyomizu-dera temple.

Raku firing is also very popular in Europe and the US, where many vessels are wheel thrown. A Japanese raku bowl is usually formed/pinched by hand. Many tea ceremony bowls are made this way. Perhaps this is also the style I am most interested in, but how tricky is it to visit an actual workshop? Add to that that singular raku chawan (tea bowls) are very highly prized and not your average holiday souvenir.

Getting there

The home of Kyo pottery is perhaps the easiest place to get to, as Kyoto is extremely well served by JR Shinkansen from Osaka, Tokyo, and many other cities in Japan, and therefore easily accessible.

Whats there?

If you want to see the popular styles and shop, all you need to do is go to the foot of Kiyumizu-dera temple and stroll the lanes leading up to or away from the temple. Gojo-zaka is convenient for the bus stop, and downhill, choose Zannen-zaka to view traditional houses, tea shops and ceramic shops. A lot of the pottery in the souvenir shops may be mass-produced yet no less pleasing and of nice quality.

A very well-known shop on Zannen-zaka, and right on the tourist trail is Shoindo (松韻堂). The stuff certainly isn’t cheap, as the ware is often hand painted, but you certainly get the hand made ceramics here. I was going to check it out on my last visit, but the rain drove me back.

For handmade Kiyomizu-ware, you may need to visit the town of Kiyomizu-Danchi on the east side of Kyoto. There certainly are a cluster of ateliers and shops around the Kiyomizu-Danchi Park. It may be a bit tricky to reach from Downtown Kyoto, though Higashino Station on the Tozai Line might be a good bet, or a bus from Kyoto Station.

I have been to Kyoto four times now and would always go back there, as I have not seen enough of it. Maybe next time I try to find, so Kyoto might be a good place to start exploring, and also makes a good base for other pottery areas, as some can be reached in a day trip from Kyoto.

Kyoto pottery, probably Kiyomizu-style. Photo by Christian Kaden (Flickr)

Tanba Pottery

In May 2024, I visited Tambasasayama – another part of my ceramics dream trip completed!

What makes it special?

Tanba, or Tamba, is another of the six ancient kilns. It appears to be another rustic type pottery like Tokoname, Echizen or Bizen. Over the years, many different firing techniques have been applied, and typical are “natural” white-ish and greenish glazes, with many pieces being used for tea ceremonies.

When I visited Sasayama, I noticed at least five ceramics shops and at least one atelier in the Kawaramachi old house district. Many sell ceramics from all over Japan, and Tambayaki stood out as cheerful, rustic yet beautiful ware in rich colours.

Tamba-yaki at Ameya shop in Sasayama


Sasayama and Tachikui Villages,  Hyōgo Prefecture, north of Kobe.

Getting there

I thought this was tricky, as its rather remote and hilly, but as so often, a great official provincial tourist website called Travel Hyogo suggests that Tachikui Pottery Village is only 15min by bus from Aino Station on the  JR Fukuchiyama Line from Osaka. You could also get off halfway in Takarazuka which has hot springs. And a Manga museum.  This is no Shinkansen Line, the fastest train is a Limited Express, so I guess, maybe an hour to 1.5 hours to Aino.

When I visited, I picked the small town of Sasyama as it appeared easier to reach on public transport, had some phantastic accommodation options, and lots of really stylish shops and cafes, museums…although Tachikui has more pottery studios but very little else. I took a local train from Osaka to Tambasasayama, then an hourly bus to Sasayama.

Kawaramachi District of Sasayama

What’s there?

Tachikui has a rather organised looking “Pottery Village” that offers classes. The whole Hyogo prefecture appears rather attractive, to be honest, while remaining low-key.  While you are there, and have time, why not visit the amazing Himeji Castle? Never in my life had we had such an amazing detailed tour running about three hours by a volunteer English guide. It was restored for five years but re-opened in 2015. Total highlight of my second Japan trip in 2005!

Having been there, I would now recommend Sasayama as your base. It is a superb small town with beautiful old buildings that isn’t overly touristy. I think most visitors are Japanese and visit on weekends.

Ameya, one of Sasayama’s pottery shops. selling Tamba-yaki

I stayed at Oito Guesthouse, a converted shop house in the Kawaramachi District. The bus stops 100metres away, the guesthouse is super stylish in a pared-down old-meets modern style. It has just two rooms with a beautiful cafe downstairs. My room although the cheaper one, was huge, had two super comfortable Western style beds, but I needed to go down the stairs and through the cafe to the bathroom. But then, the cafe was basically my personal living room after 17.00. Highly recommend it, but there are at least ten great guest houses in Sasayama. Une Stay and Diner is another really beautiful one in a central location. Last not least, if you travel with a little group, check out the L’Hotel Du Mai. It is a converted bank and has just one suite and has featured in books and design magazines.

Bizen Pottery

Bizen was to be my next trip, but I decided to visit Wakayama instead of cycling the Shimanami Kaido and then slowly back tracking to Kyoto, one of my favourite Japanese cities.

What makes it special?

Fired at a high temperature for about two weeks, it is known to be hard and resilient. Like many, it is often left unglazed and it can have a little bit of natural glaze.


Imbe Village, Okayama Prefecture, Sanyo Region, Western Honshu.

Getting there

It is near the Shinkansen train line, but the Shinkansen does not stop there. The nearest Shinkansen station is Okayama. From there, take the JR Akō line back towards Osaka to Imba Station, takes about 35 minutes from Okayama.

What’s there?

Bizen, like many of the others, is a small town, and there is the usual museum dedicated to the craft, the Bizen Pottery Traditional and Contemporary Art Museum. I have absolutely no idea whether it is worth the trip… I remember from my trip to Okayama that there were plenty of shops in town selling Bizen ware, and Okayama has the rather nice Koraku-en, one of the top three Japanese formal gardens, dating back to the 18th Century, with  a castle sitting in its middle.

Bizen Ware. Photo by jar[] (Flickr)


What makes it special?

Made from fine clay and  fired at relatively low temperature, Hagi pottery shines through its soft coloured glazes and is traditionally used for tea bowls.


City of Hagi, Yamaguchi Prefecture, South-Western Honshu

Getting there

Shinkansen to Shin-Yamaguchi, then the JR Bus to Hagi. Bear in mind you are even further south-west than Hiroshima, so this is some way to go, but with a JR Pass, as many trips as you like are included. The bus alone takes 1-1.5 hours.

What’s there?

There appear to be  a number of workshops open to visitors. First, Hagiyaki-Keikan appears to be some craft village with a large number of shops. There are two potters workshops mentioned, too, Genshu-gama and  Senryuzan, where one can have a try at making pottery.

Hagi Pottery. Photo by Kyle McDonald (Flickr Creative Commons)

Arita and Imari Pottery

Arita and Imari ware are often porcelain, but some different clays are also used, and are also known as Hizen or Nabeshima ware.  

What makes it special?

Most ceramics to come out of Arita and Imari are actually porcelain, and are traditionally known as “Japanese porcelain”, dating back to the 17th Century. They typically  consists of white porcelain from local Kaolin,  decorated in overglaze painting in rich detail.


Around the towns of Arita and Imari in Saga prefecture in Western Kyushu.

Getting there

This one is a long way south: by JR Shinkansen to Fukuoka (Hakata), then Limited Express trains on the JR Huis ten Bosch and Midori lines, which takes 90 minutes from Hakata. JR Chikuhi Line to Imari or alternatively private Matsura railway from Arita to Imari. Honestly, hiring a car would be preferable

What ‘s there?

Arita Town has a the Kyushu Ceramic Museum. Most other sights are one train station away in the old town of Kami-Arita. Here, there are a shrine, another ceramic museum and ceramic shops. Also… a ceramic-oriented theme park where you can view a pretty realistic looking replica of the Dresden Zwinger Palace! Okawachiyama Village,  is a pottery village with workshops and shops in the mountains near Imari. The Saga Tourist association says there is a bus every two hours, or one can walk in 1-2hours.

Can you go into individual workshops? No idea!

Arita Ware at Kouraku Kilns “Treasure Hunt”

Needless to say, this list is by no means exhaustive, and I have tried to include the most popular styles of traditional or art pottery, and I am not an expert on ceramics. Please let me know if you have any more information and I will amend this post to include your suggestions!

Another useful link I have found is an article on kilns where you can make your own pottery.

My visit in 2023 (Update)

Arita and Imari are the first places I have visited on this “deam list”, yay! I studied for three months in nearby Nagasaki, and of course, a trip to the Arita and Imari had to be done! So, here is my little review:

Saga Province is forested, hilly and quite beautiful and really not that much visited. Both Arita and Imari are small towns of moderate charm. Both are full of kilns and ceramics and porcelain shops, and have a few sights in between. Probably most famous is the Tozan Shrine in Kami-Arita, decked out in blue and white porcelain. Also,  Arita has at least five porcelain-related porcelain museums, the largest being the Kyushu Ceramics Museum near Arita Station

With Arita being very stretched out over about 6 kilometres, we went “treasure hunting” in the Kourakou Kiln warehouse for decent dead stock and seconds and visited Okawachiyama. I would say that although it is near impossible to visit any workshops (to see the production process) , it was a worthwhile visit. Okawachiyama was definitely my favourite place there due to it being so scenic and beautiful. We visited on a Friday and it wasn’t busy anywhere. Real porcelain -and some of the ceramics- are quite pricey, but extremely beautiful.

For Shopping, Kami-Arita probably has the most independent shops. If you would like to view work from different kilns in one place, Arita Sera about 2km outside the centre in an industrial estate is your best bet. If you have a car and some spare time, visit nearby Hasami with its cheaper price point utilitarian ceramics – and don’t miss the nearby Onigi Ride Terrasses!

For a more quaint style, nearby Karatsu is worth a trip, for its beautiful seaside scenery, castle,  and a smattering of ceramics shops in the town centre.

Where to buy Japanese Ceramics in Japan outside the potteries

Below is a list of places that I have come across and where I found the ceramics selection to be very good.

Tsukiji Market

One of my favourite places to eat and shop  in Japan. Last time I visited, there was still the wholesale fish market next door, which is telling it’s been too long! Its fish market was my favourite place to visit with jetlag at around 5am, followed by sushi for breakfast (my favourite is Sushizanmai)  and shopping. It is easy to reach by Metro (Tsukiji). You want to head for the Outer Market (jōgai-shijō) which is very colourful and a neat grid of small shops and sushi restaurants. There are loads of small ceramics shops there, ceramics are relatively cheap and probably machine made but beautiful. When you walk back to the Metro, look out for little shop selling ceramics as well as bento in Shin-ohasho-dori Avenue.

Department Stores

I have seen beautiful traditional tea sets and tea bowls in all “high end” department stores in Japanese cities, for example Mitsukoshi and Takashimaya. I am no expert on department stores though!

Flea Markets

Last not least, if you just want to see good pottery, some bloggers have recommended flea markets and antique markets in Tokyo, Kyoto or Osaka. My only personal experience is a market in Himeji which we happened to chance upon on our way from JR Station to the castle. I bought a small Bizen bud vase for about 1 Euro there.

In Tokyo, Oedo Antique Market has been recommended. It takes place on a Sunday at the Tokyo International Forum in central Tokyo. Dates for 2020 are Janaury 5, February 2 and 15, MArch 1 and 15, April 5 and 19, May 3 and 17, June 7 and 21, July 5 and 19, August 2 and 16, September 6 and 20, October 4 and 18, November 1 and 15, and December 6 and 20.

In Kyoto, there are three major antique markets: by To-ji temple, Tenjin-san in the Kitano Tenmangu Shrine , which apparently has a lot of antique kimono, and Tezukuro-ichi ,which is mainly a handmade and crafts market.

In Osaka, Tenno-ji is the largest market.

And of course I will report back, sometime, if and when I go on this trip.

Do you have a themed dream trip? And what would it be?

Map of Japanese Ceramics locations

Here are all places discussed in this article in a handy map!

Books on Japanese Ceramics and related subjects

The Japanese Pottery Handbook: First published in the 1970’s and something of a classic, this book is 90% graphic, with almost no photographs and text to speak of. It offers a great introduction into Japanese ceramics styles and would be a great place to start, especially if you are considering making your own Japanese style ceramics.

Inside Japanese Ceramics: A bit more pictorial than the Kodansha Book, and written by an American Ceramics lecturer rather than a Japanese potter. A good book to begin with

Rough Guide Japan: I have travelled with an older incarnation of this, and for Japan preferred it to the Lonely Planet as information was accurate, and it had some of those hard-to-find places that aren’t purely for tourists

The current edition is from June 2020!

Kodansha Bilingual Books: I bought a few in a Japanese bookshop and love them. Like the pottery book, they are graphic in style, but show aspects of Japanese life and traditions that you won’t find in travel guides and “etiquette books”

Teach Yourself Japanese: If you really want to go the extra mile! I have an older incarnation of these series, and I only really listened to the lessoons before a trip, but enough for some very basic conversation, asking the way and ordering in restaurants where there is no English menu (the best ones, if you ask me, not a tourist in sight – and “I’ll have what they’re having” is getting a whole new meaning.

Disclosure: This post was written in November 2017, and updated in 2019, 2023 (Kyushu) and June 2024 (Tamba).   My Japan trips were self-funded, meaning that I paid for all services on this trip.  I receive no monetary or non-monetary rewards for linking to any of the places and services mentioned,  aside from some affiliate links to You can trust me for the whole, unbiased truth.  More details on my affiliate link policy are here

26 thoughts on “My Traditional Japanese Ceramics Dream Trip”

  • I hope to visit Japan in the next couple of years. I love posts like this which show you how to do a deep dive into the culture. The only problem is what I would want to buy a suitcase full of ceramics (and adopt several Japanese cats)! ‍⬛

    • Hi Terri, I hope to go on my sixth visit to Japan soon, and while I learned about the culture, I am now trying to learn Japanese too. Always appreciated the culture. Japan is so easy to travel as a solo traveller. The ceramics are irresistible indeed! Already planning to visit some of the Kyoto ceramic studios.

  • This would be my dream trip too. I absolutely love Japanese ceramics and all the art and craftsmanship that goes with it. I have been keeping track of some towns for my next visit, so I will be sure to bookmark this article too.

    • Hi Mayi, definitely try to visit one or two of the ceramics centres. Some are really accessible. I saw Bizen ware in Himeji and Okayama in the shops, and places like Arita and Imari (which Okawachiyama is part of) are full of shops. In some places you can watch craftsmen or have a go at making pottery, it’s something I am interested in but have not had the chance since I have access to a studio back home, so it’s mostly firing techniques I would love to learn. Maybe a ceramics holiday soon…

  • I would have had a rather hard time here, not buying everything to take home hehe

    • Hi Kait, you probably would! The ceramics are so beautiful, but getting them home may be an issue! I tend to take one of two pieces in my hand luggage now, carefully transporting then, wrapped in bisquit and cracker bags…

  • So interesting and beautiful! Japan is so so high on my travel list – I’d love to see the Japanese ceramics in person.

  • I didn’t realise that there were so many different types of Japanese ceramics. I will be sure to check them out when I finally make it to Japan.

    • Hi Sara, tons and tons of Japanese ceramics! You get an interesting mix of mass produced and really unique hand made in toursistic centre,s but sometimes it is worth seeking out ceramic centres which can be found all over Japan. I have been to a few and am slowly making my way through the Japanese ceramic centres, really love it. I have not tried making anything, though!

  • There are so many beautiful and different pieces. I really liked the Bizen pieces for their colouring. I’m going to seek these out next time in Japan.

    • Hi Sharyn, they are beautiful, aren’t they? I would get very weak in a Bizen ceramics shop, so it’s maybe for the better I am not going there yet. I think they are very accessible, too, and not that expensive, as many are undecorated.

  • I find Japanese tea culture so fascinating. A ceramics tour sounds like the perfect way to delve deeper into the ritual and the beautiful ceramics involved! I’d definitely be brinning plenty of souvenirs home from this trip. What a wonderful way to explore the culture and admire the impressive craftmanship. Thanks for the great guide!

    • Hi Hannah, indeed! Been to a few tea shops and I love them… especially when they have the tea-themed desserts, too. I always buy tea and a pot of green tea after work has become a beloved ritual at home now. I brought two yunomi home from my last trip and they ain’t gonna be the last ones.

  • Fascinating stuff. I have occasionally bought ceramic or wooden pots and bowls as souvenirs, but it’s not something I would go looking for. Knowing something of the history of the place or the meaning of a pot makes in more interesting.

    • Hi Annie, to be honest, I have enough dinner ware but I still love looking at the ceramics and usually a traditional tea mug (yunomi) finds its way into my luggage. Just love the Japanese ceramics aesthetic so much.

  • I’ve been to Japan three times and always love stumbling upon local stores selling their crafts! I agree that there is such a lovely unique charm about Japanese ceramics! I feel like I’d have to go back for another trip to Japan to experience a more ‘cultural side’ of the country. Thanks for sharing all your reccommendations!

    • Hi Kelly, thank you for your comment! I use a fair few of my Japanese ceramics and love them. I made some tentative plans to return and see more ceramic centres…

    • Hi Sonia, thank you for your comment! I think Bizen area is relatively easy to combine with other sights like Himeji and Okayama and Kurashiki… that might be my next destination 🙂

  • So many beautiful different styles and wonderful craftsmanship, I’m not sure that I’d be able to resist filling up my bag with beautiful pottery to bring home if I visited some of these villages. The Arita Porcelain looks so dainty and perfect! Hopefully you get to find a perfect piece that calls your name when you visit!

    • Hi Jenelle, thank you for your comment! I have actually been to Arita, and bought a few pieces but mostly discounted stuff for using, rather than the beautiful porcelain that was displayed.

  • I love how Japan just takes any craft to a whole higher level 😀 It’s such a wonderful country to tour around because of it! Their ceramics and pottery are absolutely gorgeous, thanks for sharing. My friend got married in Japan, around Kagoshima, and her guest gift was little bowls handmade by a local artisan. It was very nice.

    • Hi Sheryl, absolutely agree! Some goods can be pricey, reflecting the craftmanship that goes into it, some aren’t. I am armchair travelling to Japan and plannin gmy next trip, although there is nothing I really need now… maybe I will see if the cats break some of my crockery.

  • Now I really need Bizen ware lol Really enjoyed your post! That would be such a dream trip for me, since I am a fan of Ceramics and pottery, but everything in Japan just looks so unique

    • Hi Anna, I love Bizen ware too! I am just writing up a couple posts on visiting Arita and Karatsu. If you love Bizen ware, give Karatsu a try! Pretty scenic little coastal town, nice castle, cracking ceramics similar in style to Bizen.

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