If you are visiting Arita, you are likely in the city to see the famous Arita ceramic. The best way to explore the history and the style of Arita is probably to visit the Kyushu Ceramic Museum. You can then complete your visit in Arita by visiting the many shops around the town to buy some pieces for yourself.
The first section of the museum present the history of Arita ceramic, you will learn how the discovery of a deposit of a kaolin clay deposit used to make high quality porcelain as well as new techniques introduced via Korea shaped the style of porcelain produced in Arita. Then it show the different styles produced in Arita and how their porcelain became prized goods in Europe when Japan opened their borders at the end of the Edo period and pieces started to be made specifically for this market. What is interesting is also that they show the different steps required to make a piece, that is a surprisingly complex process that is fascinating to discover if you are not that familiar with he process of making such ceramic pieces,
Then there is a big private collection that was offered to the museum and that is displayed in it’s specific room. That third section showcase pottery and ceramic from different regions of Kyushu, that all had their own specific style depending on the region and time. The fourth room present more modern pieces and here you can see how Arita porcelain. Is not limited to the pieces covered in painting.
Unless you really do not have time, for me the museum is a must, especially for the price, because it’s surprisingly free. In comparison, I went to one of the other paid museum in Arita and it was rather small and not offering that much and I would rather only have visited the Kyushu Ceramic Museum.