3 Great Workshops to Experience one of Japan’s Traditional Art Forms: Pottery!

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  • Pottery is one of Japan’s traditional art forms which was revived in the 20th century. Masters of potters appeared as well as workshops which preserved the traditional styles and techniques passed down through the generations.

    So, if you’re interested in giving pottery a crack, here are 3 great workshops.

    1. Kitagama Kasen

    This workshop is ancient and has roots that date back to around 1,000 years ago. It is located in the heart of Akazu district in Aichi Prefecture and was founded by a master potter, Hikokuro and was considered a family workshop which was then turned over to various master potters.

    Pottery classes include a Pottery Painting course and Pottery Making course and welcomes both adults and children who are interested in pottery art. A Pottery Painting course gives you the chance to design your own pots in 30 minutes for 1,000 yen (per piece). The Pottery Making course is done in small groups for 2,500 yen per class.

    Kasen Website

    2. Kutani Kousen Kama

    This is the only Kutani Ceramic Kiln in Kanazawa which began in 1873. It makes ceramics manually from blending the clay to shaping and coloring it. You actually get the opportunity to see the whole production process upon visiting and also get the chance to enjoy drawing on your own pots. You will be given the chance to draw lines on your white ceramic which comes in 25 shapes to choose from. About five traditional colors are used to paint the wares. For a cost of 1,300 to 5,400 yen, you can make your own pots within an hour (including the inspection tour).

    Kutani Kousen Website

    3. Fukui Prefectural Pottery Museum

    This museum displays various works of art from the old Echizen style to the contemporary ones. Other than this, it also consists of a workshop which offers visitors the chance to experience making their own Echizan Pottery pieces. Courses are divided into three: Handmaking Course, Painting Course, and Electric Potter’s Wheel Course. The Handmaking Course is good for an hour (1,200 yen), the Painting Course is good for 2 hours (500-800 yen per piece), and the Electric Potter’s Wheel Course is good for an hour of potter wheel’s use.

    Museum Website

    So, get ready to get your hands dirty while learning the art of pottery here in these fantastic workshops. It is a difficult, yet fun and memorable experience that is completely different from to anything else you will come across on your travels.

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