What to Do in Arita

What to do in AritaA visit to Arita, the birthplace of Japanese pottery is going to be a stay centred around the considered art of japanese ceramics. The area is filled with history, the pottery making process, important landmarks, studios and of course merchants willing to provide you with a few local gems to take home with you. While in Arita you should advantage of the town’s location mountainous surroundings to get in touch with nature and fully experience what the area has to offer.

What to do in Arita
What to do in Arita

Visit the Kyushu Ceramic Museum

One way to get acquainted with Arita Yaki (Arita’s ceramic ware) and the ceramic tradition of Kyushu is to visit the Kyushu Ceramic Museum. Through several exhibition rooms, visitors get a clear understanding of the industry’s history, beginning from the time when the first clay quarry was discovered up to today. They also have the chance to admire some of the most beautiful pieces collected throughout centuries. A highlight here is a large ceramic clock, made by 13 local artists with intricate ceramic components; the clock opens up every 30 minutes to display an amazing mechanism and stunning design.

Visit the Kyushu Ceramic Museum
Kyushu Ceramic Museum_Automaton clock

Get a close look at Arita Yaki traditional production process.

At the museum you learn the history of Arita Yaki and have the opportunity to inspect historical samples of it. You’re also given the opportunity to meet with the locals who produce today’s famous ceramics and get a closer look at the traditional ceramic process. Entering this 260 year old Gen-emon kiln is definitely a trip back in time. The studio area and work stations are preserved the wooden style of old days, while the kiln oven is still fired up with red pine wood found in the region. The knowledgeable staff are happy to show you around; the tour is free, detailed, and quite interesting but do note that it is only available in Japanese.

Get a close look at Arita Yaki traditional production process.
Gen-emon Kiln

Pay a visit to the porcelain-embellished Sueyama Shrine

These spiritual grounds of Sueyama Shrine, as it is commonly known are adorned with countless stunning porcelain pieces, the most impressive being the torii gate at the top of the steps. This is said to be the only porcelain torii gate in Japan, and is reason enough to visit this place. Sueyama Shrine is also where local ceramicists come to worship the former lord Nabeshima Naoshige and the father of Arita porcelain, Ri Sanpei in whose name, an obelisk was erected at the top of the mountain.

Pay a visit to the porcelain-embellished Sueyama Shrine
Sueyama Shrine

Enjoy the surrounding nature at Arita Dam

As beautiful as Arita ware is, if you’re on a budget, exploring the natural beauty of the area might be a more gentle on your wallet. One stunning location to visit it the natually breathtaking, pristine scenes of Arita Dam. From Arita Station a 10-min drive will take you to the dam’s entrance. Or better yet, rent a bicycle at the tourist information and bike your way around the blue waters, stopping along the way soak up the scenic landscape.

Enjoy the surrounding nature at Arita Dam
Arita Dam

Buy Arita Ware

You should not leave Arita empty handed. A trip to the birthplace of Japanese pottery cannot be complete without taking home at least one of the coveted ceramics found in the area. To stock up on unique pieces you can either visit the ceramic shopping mall north of Arita Station or add some charm to your shopping spree along the historic Uchiyama District. Both are good options, but in Uchiyama the opportunity to wander through traditional architecture is an added bonus. Keep you eyes open for the tables outside the stores where from discounted merchandise is usually kept.

Buy Arita Ware
Buy Arita Ware
Facility Name
Kyushu Ceramic Museum
Address
Saga Pref. Nishimatsuragunaritachou Toshaku Yu 3100-1
Phone
0955433681
Hours
9:00-17:00 (Admission is until 16:30)
Closed
Monday (open in the case of Public holiday), 12/29-12/31
Fees
Free admission (fee for special exhibition, inquiries in detail)
Parking Lot
Available (300 spaces)
Credit Card
No
Introduction
A prefectural museum in Arita Town which is dedicated to preserving and displaying ceramics from areas throughout Kyushu. The museum’s collection focuses on pieces from the former Hizen Province, particularly porcelain such as Imari ware and Karatsu ware. Highlights include the giant music box made of Arita ware and the Meissen porcelain bells. The 25 bells, made in the Meissen State Porcelain Manufactory in Meisen, Arita’s sister city, play a song related to the two nations every hour, announcing the time.
Information Sources:
NAVITIME JAPAN
Facility Name
Gen-emon Kiln
Address
Saga Pref. Nishimatsuragunaritachou Maruo Hino 2726
Phone
0955424164
Hours
8:00-17:00
Closed
Sunday, Public holiday, Saturday (Irregular holidays), New Year's Holiday, for various occasions Other Holiday
Fees
Observation Free
Parking Lot
Available
Credit Card
Yes
Introduction
A famous old Imari ware pottery workshop with some 260 years of history. Traditional old Imari ware is characterized by a modern functional beauty coupled with a distinctive decorative style. In the adjoining museum, visitors can view numerous pieces of old Imari ware gathered from throughout Japan and the world. Note that the museum is only open on weekdays as well as partially on Saturdays. Be sure to check the official website for business days.
Information Sources:
NAVITIME JAPAN
Facility Name
Suyama Shrine
Address
Saga Pref. Nishimatsuragunaritachou Odaru 2-5-1
Phone
0955423310
Regular holiday
open everday
Information Sources:
NAVITIME JAPAN
Facility Name
Arita dam
Address
Saga Pref. Nishimatsuragunaritachou Shirakawa Ground destination
Information Sources:
NAVITIME JAPAN

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PLACES IN THIS ARTICLE

  • dummy image

    Suyama Shrine

    Shrine (Inari/Gongen)
    Saga Pref. Nishimatsuragunaritachou Odaru 2-5-1
  • dummy image

    Arita dam

    Lake
    Saga Pref. Nishimatsuragunaritachou Shirakawa Ground destination
  • Gen-emon Kiln image

    Gen-emon Kiln

    Others (observation tour/demonstration)
    Saga Pref. Nishimatsuragunaritachou Maruo Hino 2726
  • Kyushu Ceramic Museum image

    Kyushu Ceramic Museum

    Museum/Science museum
    Saga Pref. Nishimatsuragunaritachou Toshaku Yu 3100-1
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