In this 2-week program in the town of Arita in Saga Prefecture, you'll immerse yourself in the world of Arita ware, the highly acclaimed Japanese porcelain. Stay in comfort in a renovated traditional Japanese house, and enjoy Arita's charms!
• Breakfast will be provided • Dinner may be arranged by request (extra costs apply) Activity Rules • All activities included on the itinerary must be held during the first week • This tour is flexible; the order of activities will be arranged according to your preference
This is an exclusive 2-week tour of the town of Arita, Saga Prefecture, best known for its internationally celebrated porcelain. While Arita has several specialized long-stay programs for researchers and artists, this is the first program ever designed for travelers that are highly interested in Japanese ceramics, but lacking expertise in ceramics. You'll stay in a renovated, traditional Japanese house, Muta House, which you'll have all to yourself. It's a cozy two-story building with a beautiful garden, splendid views, and lush greenery. With housekeeping, a concierge, and a guide, you'll spend 2 weeks in Arita in perfect comfort. Additionally, your accommodation is within walking distance of the well-preserved Uchiyama district. This allows for pleasant walks around Arita's charming townscape, a great chance to observe and even experience the local lifestyle. On the first week of your stay, you'll experience a wide range of special activities in Arita, providing total immersion in the world of the highly acclaimed Arita ware, one of Japan's finest kinds of ceramics. These activities include: 1) A guided tour of Uchiyama, complete with a visit to kilns that represent various time periods across the history of ceramics production. The highlight of the day is a pottery lesson under the guidance of a descendant of Yi Sam-pyeong, the father of Arita ware. 2) An exquisite 'kaiseki' meal (multi-course traditional Japanese dining) served on Arita ware from the Edo period to the present. These pieces of tableware represent different periods and distinctive characteristics from across the ages. This pairing of fine dining with gorgeous tableware makes for an extraordinary activity that you cannot experience anywhere else. Afterward, you will also visit Gen-emon Kiln in Kuromuta. 3) A guided tour of Kuromuta's Oubou District, where you'll learn about the daily lives of local craftsmen, as well as the elaborate techniques used to produce Arita ware. You'll wrap up with an exciting treasure hunt for antique Arita ceramics at Kouraku Kiln, a kiln more than 150 years old, that continues to come up with innovative ways to create and promote Arita ware. 4) A hands-on experience, also in Kouraku Kiln, in which you'll create your own Arita ware by applying an original design to a coffee mug through transfer printing. 5) An exclusive tour to uncover the secrets of Arita's highly celebrated Kakiemon Kiln, that has an entire style of Arita ware named after it. This kiln is typically not open to the public, so this is a valuable chance to see behind its doors and to talk to its master artisans. 6) A tour of the Kyushu Ceramic Museum, where intricate ceramic art from all over the Kyushu region is on display. Here, you can trace the historical development of ceramics in Kyushu. All activities during the first week include an English-speaking guide. In the second week, you'll have free time to explore more of Arita's gems. Take a stroll around Uchiyama's old streets and Tonbai Walls. Visit some ceramics theme parks: the magnificent Arita Porcelain Park, or the impressive China On The Park, owned by the Fukagawa Seiji Kiln. If you wish, you can also visit nearby cities: Ureshino, Takeo, and Karatsu in Saga Prefecture; and Nagasaki, Sasebo, and Hirado in Nagasaki Prefecture.