Saga Prefecture has been thriving as a major manufacturing source of ceramics
for centuries. Arita-yaki pottery, Imari-yaki pottery and Karatsu-yaki
pottery are celebrated as top ceramics brands.
[A] Imari and Arita-yaki Pottery (Imari City and Arita Town area)
Saga reminds most people of ceramics. Imari and Arita-yaki pottery is the
most famous and distinctive. Those ceramics trace their beginnings back
to a Korean potter who was brought to Saga on the occasion of Toyotomi
Hideyoshi's invasion of the Korean Peninsula. Perfected during its 400-year
history, Imari and Arita-yaki pottery is generally categorized into three
types, "Koimari", "Kakiemon" and "Nabeshima".
There is a wide range of products from dishes for daily use to works of
art for aesthetic appreciation. With their beautiful white ceramic touches,
gorgeous painting, easiness to use and high durability, Imari and Arita-yaki
ware continues to fascinate ceramic lovers.
[B] The Village of the Secret Kilns - Okawachiyama (Imari City)
Okawachiyama of Imari City used to have the Nabeshima Clan Kilns, which
produced masterpiece porcelains such as "Iro-Nabeshima", "Nabeshima-Sometsuke"
and "Nabeshima-Seiji" under the Clan's strict surveillance. The
area is enclosed on three sides by mountains and has a distinctive atmosphere
of secret kilns resembling landscapes described in Oriental paintings.
Historical heritages including the remains of old kilns and various ceramic
objects found on mountain roads are in perfect harmony with the surrounding
nature and peaceful neighborhoods.
[C] The Kyushu Ceramic Museum (Arita Town)
The Kyushu Ceramic Museum collects not only Hizen ceramics but also ceramic
objects of the whole Kyushu region. Inside the museum, the history of Kyushu
ceramics and the characteristics of each era are exhibited in detail. An
Arita-yaki wind-up musical clock is displayed at the Exhibit Hall and sounds
every thirty minutes. Spending a day here makes you an expert on Kyushu
[D] Karatsu-yaki Ware (Karatsu City area)
Karatsu-yaki ware is known as one of the best tea sets, along with Raku-yaki
and Hagi-yaki. It is said to have originated at Mt. Kishidake of Kitahata,
Karatsu City. Karatsu-yaki ware keeps attracting many people as the more
they are used the more they become tasteful and polished. It is proof of
them being first class tea sets. Karatsu-yaki pottery still keeps its tradition
of simple and natural painting and solid delineation. About fifty kilns
exist in Karatsu.
[E] Make your own ceramics! Taiken-Kobo Rokuroza Studio (Arita Town)
Taiken-Kobo Rokuroza Studio is a full-scale pottery studio where visitors
can experience using a potter's wheel, whittling and firing. Forming a
dish with a potter's wheel takes around 30 minutes. A total beginner can
enjoy a real potter's wheel operation under the kind guidance of a professional.
Enjoy the wonderful experience of kneading clay and creating your own work.
[F] Make your own ceramics! Taiken-Kobo Akaeza Studio (Arita Town)
Visitors can experience overglazing coffee cups, teacups, dishes or any
container of preference. The exhibition space offers visitors an opportunity
to deepen their understanding of traditional culture and art.