Visit some of Arita's most significant kilns
Familiarize yourself with Arita's history and traditions
Get in-depth knowledge from a descendant of Yi Sam-pyeong
Learn about the distinguishing features of Arita porcelain
Immerse yourself in Arita's rich heritage
About this activity
What's included, what's not
Admission to facilities on the itinerary
Taxi transportation from Kyushu Ceramic Museum to Izumiyama
Taxi transportation except for Kyushu Ceramic Museum - Izumiyama
What you can expect
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.
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.
10:00 — Meet your guide at Arita Station
10:10 — Visit the Kyushu Ceramic Museum
10:50 — See Izumiyama Quarry, the large ginkgo tree of Izumiyama, Tonbai Walls, Fukagawa Seiji Gallery, Arita-kan, and Tozan Shrine
12:30 — Lunch at Arita Porcelain Lab
14:00 — Visit Imaemon Kiln
15:00 — Pottery lesson with Yi Sam-pyeong's descendant at Akaeza Studio
16:00 — Move to Arita Station
16:15 — Return to Arita Station; end of tour