See the best historical kilns and galleries showcasing Arita ware on this private tour with an English-speaking guide. You'll visit a studio not usually open to the public and get a hands-on lesson from a master artisan: an extraordinary experience.
• If you wish to keep your work from the pottery lesson, shipping will take two months (extra fees required; please pay on-site) • The activity is open to guests aged 7 or older • Children aged 0–6 may accompany guests for free
Arita ware traces its history to the beginning of the Edo period (1603–1867) when the Korean potter Yi Sam-pyeong discovered valuable porcelain clay at Izumiyama. He became known as the father of Arita ware. The porcelain industry expanded, and Arita ware soon became highly valued, not only in Japan but also in Europe. Early types of Arita ware were known for a distinctive decoration called 'sometsuke' (underglaze blue). Later, bright-colored overglaze and even specific styles emerged. Today, Arita ware is still the best-known type of Japanese porcelain, highly acclaimed and deeply valued by artists and connoisseurs from Japan and around the world. This private guided walking tour is designed for visitors who wish to immerse themselves in the heritage and secrets of Arita. This is a valuable chance to learn about the various styles and distinctive characteristics of one of the world's finest types of porcelain. After a visit to the Kyushu Ceramic Museum, a knowledgeable local guide will introduce you to Arita's historical district of Uchiyama, where you can see the traces of 400 years of porcelain-making at Izumiyama Quarry and the Tonbai Walls. You'll visit craft studios and kilns that are not typically open to the public, including Imaemon Kiln, of which the 13th-generation Imaemon and the current head — the 14th-generation Imaemon — have been designated as Living National Treasures. Finally, you'll get a private lesson on a pottery wheel with the 14th-generation descendant of Yi Sam-pyeong. This exclusive tour will appeal not only to devoted pottery enthusiasts, but also to anyone with an appreciation for Japanese arts and crafts. 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.