Kouraku Kiln

Top choice in Kyūshū

This fascinating pottery factory has something for everyone: you can try making simple pottery on the throwing wheel (your pieces can be fired and mailed to you within Japan); you can stay here longer in a residency to learn the craft (¥49,000/200,000 per week/month); or shoppers can go 'treasure hunting' in the vast seconds warehouse and spend as much time filling a box (¥5000) with whatever fits.

Headed by a genial Brazilian, this kiln has opted – at some risk of criticism – to offer reasonably priced pieces for tourists who aren't deep-pocketed art collectors. As such, you'll find it far less manicured, but the chance to have as much Arita-yaki as you can take home for ¥5000 is unique and fun. The residency includes up to 40kg of porcelain clay, and you live and work with potters, learning the Arita ceramic craft.