Tokyo Kyoto looking for:
Replies: 5 - Last Post: Oct 2, 2013 6:02 PM Last Post By: Wassatagain
Sep 28, 2013 7:58 AM
Sep 28, 2013 8:27 AM
1"Bowls with a focus on the glaze"
Suggest you study up on the various regional styles of Japanese pottery and be more specific about which attracts you. Going to the kiln towns is a good way to find items. Also, tea ceremony items are a special genre, if those bowls, rather than tableware, are what you are referring to. There's lots of bad quality junk on the market, as well as valuable art pieces by Living National Treasues. Do your homework to be able to tell the difference or chance being ripped off.
Sep 28, 2013 1:21 PM
2As mentioned above, there is a huge variety in quality and price, so you should make up your mind on how much it is worth to you.
Tourist oriented stuff you can find for instance at Oriental Bazaar or around Sensoji/Asakusa. 100 yen shops also have some traditional Japanese art objects (potentially made in China though). Better department stores should have something as well. You could also try flea markets.
As for pottery towns, if you are only in Tokyo and Kyoto, the following could be of interest: Mashiko, Seto, Mino, Tokoname and in Kyoto you have pottery shops on the hill at Kiyomizudera
Sep 29, 2013 5:09 AM
3For Bonsai take a look at Omiya
There is a small, but good bonsai display in the Showa Kinen Koen in Tachikawa. It's in the Nihon en part of the park.
Glass wind chimes tend to be seasonal.
Amobr82 posted the following link a while back which is very useful for getting some idea of Japanese pottery.
The high end dept stores will always have some selection of pottery goods if you don't have the time to get to the points of origin.
Sep 30, 2013 7:12 PM
Oct 2, 2013 6:02 PM
I personally happened upon these things by sheer chance. Such as a potter hanging around outside a temple area selling his wares. Never bought any though. I certainly wouldn't pick up the junk that's sold in the temple markets in Kyoto however. Total tut. Saw other tourists go mad for a few old mangy dirty paper hanging scrolls however. Whatever rocks your boat like...
If you be in Kyoto, then I would strongly advise that you pop off down to the Kyoto Museum of Traditional Crafts off Nijo Dori. A bus will get you there. It's very close to Heian Shrine. If you're exploring the area, you'll bump into it, or just ask someone. The good thing about this place is that it has actual crafts-persons demonstrating their crafts. If a potter isn't present that day, you can enquire at the information desk about contacting a potter whom you may thence be able to even visit to learn more, or where you can best buy local craft. Perhaps you can email them in advance to gain a deeper insight.
Just as a side point, It's situated in a building with an exhibition hall near by, which if you're lucky may have some sort of show on, which you can get in to for free. It will be something to do with some aspect of a traditional craft.
The Kyoto Botanical garden, situated on the River Kamo's left upper branch, should have information on where to see Bonsai in Kyoto, if there isn't a display of them here when you visit. It's worth a walk up this river for no reason but to see its beauty. And the BG is only a few yen to get into.
I'd stick to Kyoto and its environs, and as already mentioned, towns with a history to them, in order to find anything of decent value. Can't see many craftsfolk working away in the metropolis of downtown Tokyo. Not the most inducing environment for that nostalgic feel to knocking out your heritage...
I'd personally wish to get to know the person who knocked out the pot or whatever in order to gain an appreciation of the energy, time, love etc they put into making the work of art in question. If s/he is a genuine traditional crafts-person, the knowledge of the art form they engage in will probably have been passed down through the family line. You can learn a lot from folk like that. Adds a lot more to a bowl/print than just purchasing a load of 'Japanese memorabilia' or something someones knocked out for a personal business. Even if you end up with just one item from the list you've mentioned and have met and experienced an authentic human being who wishes to share part of their soul with you in both their talk and creation, then you will be far richer from the experience.
Otherwise just hop on up to Asakusa, Tokyo and buy the biggest bunch of tat*cough*traditional cr*p/*ft you can lay your hands on.
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