In this private guided tour, you'll visit some of Arita's craft studios, where skilled artisans create porcelain masterpieces. After learning about Arita ware, try your luck at a treasure hunt, and get the chance to take home some prized ceramics!
The town of Arita in Saga Prefecture is renowned for its highly appraised porcelain, Arita ware, which has been exported across the world ever since the Edo period (1603–1867). This private guided tour will take you to Kuromuta-Obo district to discover its secrets. Visiting this quaint town hidden in the mountains of Kyushu is a must-do for every pottery enthusiast, but many travelers just explore Arita's Uchiyama district, as it is more accessible. The Kuromuta-Obo district has a high concentration of kilns, both historic and modern. After a visit to the Kyushu Ceramic Museum, an experienced, English-speaking guide will take you to three of Kuromuta's kilns: Shingama, Gen-emon, and Kouraku. From facilities to products, each kiln boasts its own unique style and characteristics. At Shingama, you'll see an actual 'noborigama' (a traditional climbing kiln) and learn how items are fired in the kiln. Then, at Gen-emon, you'll watch artisans at work, learn how craftsmen decorate porcelain entirely by hand, and see a historical collection that includes ceramics from the Edo period. Finally, at the modern Kouraku Kiln, you'll learn how tradition and innovation come together. Here, you'll play a fun treasure-hunting game. Search the facility for new and old porcelain, and take home as much as you can fit in a basket! 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.