In this exclusive private tour, the doors of Arita's legendary Kakiemon Kiln will open specially for you. Take this chance to visit a historic kiln that has a style of Arita ware named after it, and interact directly with its skilled craftsmen!
Known for its overglaze paint, Kakiemon is one of Arita's finest types of porcelain. This style is named after Sakaida Kakiemon, a local potter who created the style in the mid-17th century. Over the centuries, this unique enameled style helped Arita ware further gain international appeal. Unlike the original simple underglaze blue, Kakiemon style is characterized by its rich overglaze decoration that prominently uses shades of red, green, blue, and yellow. The rich milky-white base of Kakiemon pieces emphasizes the colorful and asymmetrical compositions. This style won the hearts of countless Europeans during the Edo period (1603–1867) and resulted in many attempts at imitation. Today, the term 'Kakiemon' is used to describe Arita ware porcelain produced in a similar style, but nobody does it quite like Kakiemon Kiln. Among Kakiemon Kiln's long-kept secrets is the production of 'nigoshide,' a unique milky-white fine porcelain. This secret has been passed down from generation to generation. The current head of the kiln, Sakaida Kakiemon's 15th-generation descendant, still creates masterpieces in this distinctive style. This exclusive private tour is a valuable experience that has never been offered before: a chance to not only enter Kakiemon Kiln's workshop — typically closed to the public, but also to speak directly with some of the kiln's artisans. Before visiting Kakiemon Kiln, you will also visit the Kyushu Ceramic Museum. At Kakiemon Kiln, your experienced local guide will act as interpreter — take this opportunity to ask the studio's skilled artisans anything about this highly acclaimed style of Arita ware. You’ll be guided by a Japanese-speaker from overseas, to better help you interact with and understand the artisans and citizens of Arita. In this way we aim to meet the diverse needs of our guests — please feel free to consult with us.