Located in central Ibaraki and surrounded by mountains, Kasama Craft Hills is the one-stop for ceramic and pottery lovers.
Visitors can stroll through the small town and admire the famous Kasama Ware – or Kasama-yaki – that come in different shapes and sizes and are displayed in shops that line the hills. The clay that creates these hand-crafted wares comes directly from Kasama’s land.
In the past, Kasama potters used to only create containers for daily use, but in time, they started to make modernised crockery to keep up with the times.
In addition to viewing a large number of products in the Craft Hills, you can also head to the Craft Hills workshop, where you can unleash your creative streak and mould pottery of your own. Classes are just under three hours range from 2,000 to 3,000 yen. Once you have completed your masterpieces, the workshop staff will fine-tune and place it in the kiln for you, before shipping the completed works to you after two months.
While Kasama Craft Hills is usually a quiet place, it comes alive during Golden Week (April 29th to May 5th) when the Kasama-no-Himatsuri pottery festival – the biggest pottery festival in Ibaraki Prefecture – is held. More than 200 potters gather and set up stalls for visitors to see their original products.
Kasama Craft Hills is a short bus ride from Kasama Station via the local tour bus (¥100, no service on Mondays). To get to Kasama, it's about a 50 minute train ride west of Mito, along the JR Mito Line.
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I'm Ignatius Koh, a third-year undergraduate at the Wee Kim Wee School of Communication and Information (WKWSCI) at Nanyang Technological University (NTU) in Singapore. I have a keen interest in journalism - most particularly in sports and human interest stories. I do a little photography on the side and would love to combine words and pictures to create riveting content.