Ookawachiyama, the Imari-yaki Pottery Village

Ookawachiyama, the Imari-yaki Pottery Village

Saga Prefecture in Kyushu is well known for their distinct style of pottery. One of the most famous is Imari-yaki from the Imari and Arita regions.

Yaki can mean “fired” or in the case of pottery it can be referred to as “Equipment”. There are several different names that you can come across in the making of this regional pottery style.

Some call it Imari-Arita Yaki while others just call it Imari-yaki. Mount Izumiyama in Arita is rich in porcelain stone, making the Arita area ideal for pottery work.

Imari pottery is very different and unique compared to the pottery made in Japan. The designs often have Chinese and Korean influences. Many of the potters who were approved by Hideyoshi Toyotomi and other rulers to make pottery were brought from Korea nearly 400 years ago.

Their work and their predecessors made pottery popular for export to the west. There are some who have ended up in manor houses in Germany and other European countries. Imira-yaki is also quite expensive, due to its historical significance and status as pottery made for both domestic and foreign royalty.

There are some tourists who may not be able to buy or bring back Imari-Yaki. But you don’t need to be disappointed because just visiting the birthplace of pottery is quite beautiful.

Start your visit Arita-yaki

The free museum at Mirai Yaki is at the foot of the village where the bus stop and second place of sure are conveniently located. This is a great place to start your visit.

Of course you should take a map of the area and get any help needed. Then after that don’t forget to take a glimpse of some of the pottery that has been on display there. If you have time, you can try enrolling in a pottery making class.

Many pottery made by famous makers are exhibited there and some are historical artifacts. The museum is not big at all, maybe only the size of two rooms full of displays.

See the kiln up close!

After you have a look at the museum, then the next step is to follow the road in any direction you want by looking at the map. As you walk closer to the slopes of the mountain, you will see many traditional stoves that are still in use today.

However, this is not the only type of Kiln around. Kamamoto, a craft factory in the city also serves as a pottery shop and an open area for visitors to see how pottery is made. Not all designs in the imari-yaki style come in pottery ware.

There are small details in every step

Japan is a country that pays great attention to even the smallest details. This village is another place where you will find the most unexpected details for pottery. You can even find pottery on the street to the toilet sink.

You never know where you’ll find imari-yaki, so why not make a little game out of it? This can be a fun way to find your way through a walkable village.

The humid weather on the day you visit the place is the perfect way to find peace and serenity in the forest. After climbing a few steps, you can find the top of the village and a garden with the same structure straight out of a postmodern painting.The humid weather on the day you visit the place is the perfect way to find peace and serenity in the forest. After climbing a few steps, you can find the top of the village and a garden with the same structure straight out of a postmodern painting.

Ookawachiyama pottery garden: an unforgettable mix

After following the trail in the mountains, you will find several benches where you can rest. That way you can see the village itself calmly and of course breathe fresh air.

Even so, there would be some tree branches blocking and one might think that it would be great to go in the summer. You can see the full foliage and look out over the beautiful greenery.

The famous famous imari-yaki bridge

The path there will take you to the center of the village again. Some of the trails will have a view of the kiln and after a while you will come to the main parking lot again.

The path there will take you to the center of the village again. Some of the trails will have a view of the kiln and after a while you will come to the main parking lot again.

The cemetery doesn’t seem to be visited very often from the walkway view. Unlike most traditional Japanese tombs, this dining site is dedicated to Korean potters resting together in the shape of a pyramid. However, in the background you see an ordinary Japanese tomb. It makes one wonder about the background of the differences.

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