One of the things that Saga prefecture is best known for is its pottery, and one of the cities at the heart of Saga’s inspired pottery scene is none other than Arita, a small city close to the Nagasaki prefecture border. No trip to the prefecture is complete without a trip to Arita’s world famous porcelain.
Arguably one of the best ways to see the city is by taking one of the Arita Porcelain Tours.
In Spring, you can participate in the Hinamatsuri tour which celebrates the cities porcelain doll festival. The tour includes transport, an explanation of the cities porcelain history from the kidnapping of a famous Korean potter through the development of their new painting techniques., as well as a traditional style Japanese lunch, watching a play comprising completely of porcelain dolls, viewing the worlds largest Hinamatsuri display, listening to music played on the famous porcelain and the chance to paint your own piece of porcelain, which is yours to keep. All of this (plus the opportunity to shop for your own pieces of porcelain) is included in the bargain ¥1500 price tag.
There is also an Autumn tour which takes place in Arita during it’s Autumn ceramics fair where you can see where the clay to make Arita’s famous pottery was first discovered, making it only the third country in the world to start producing porcelain, and a chance to view Arita in it’s most beautiful spots and enjoy its Autumn shades.
If you are coming at another time during the May Golden week Arita comes alive with its largest ceramics fair which is packed with people, porcelain and delicious food for you to discover. But ultimately Arita can be appreciated at any time of year, it’s quintessential Japan.
This famous pottery town has 100’s of pottery shop for you to explore and collect your own unique pieces of Arita’s special pottery, and meet the welcoming locals of Arita.
Limited Express Trains run roughly once an hour from Saga city train station to Arita. Tickets cost ¥1420 each way for adults, and takes just over an hour.
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George is a 20-something hitchhiker, solo female traveller and cunning linguist, currently teaching in Kyushu, Japan. She circumnavigates the globe and teaches languages to all those in her wake. She has travelled Europe and Oz extensively, and has taught languages in 6 different countries and counting. She writes about a mix of language learning, TEFL tips and general travel tales. Follow her journey at http://georgeonthego.org or on www.facebook.com/georgegoingdown or www.twitter.com/georgieonthego