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.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Kyūshū attractions

1. Genemon Kiln

0.26 MILES

This is a unique opportunity to see contemporary potters working in a large studio crafting stunning examples of Arita ware, in a building from the early…

2. Imaemon Gallery

0.97 MILES

It looks humble from the outside, but stunning works of art are on display in the gallery of one of Japan's Living National Treasures, the 14th generation…

3. Kyūshū Ceramic Museum

1.06 MILES

About 15 minutes on foot from Arita Station, this large, hilltop operation is the most comprehensive ceramics museum in the region. The Shibata Collection…

4. Kakiemon Kiln

1.23 MILES

This workshop of the Sakaida family (artist name: Kakiemon) is one of Arita's top sights. Now in its 15th generation and featured in its own exhibit at…

5. Ōkawachiyama

2.86 MILES

The area's renowned pottery kilns are concentrated in photogenic Ōkawachiyama, a 15-minute bus ride from the station. Around 30 workshops and public…

6. Imari City Ceramic Merchant's Museum

5.53 MILES

In Imari town near the river, this museum houses some priceless pieces of Koimari (as old Imari ware is known) from the 18th and 19th centuries. It's in…

7. Nakazato Tarōemon

17.95 MILES

Karatsu-yaki is defined by the work of 14 generations of the Nakazato family. Walk through the shop, which feels like a museum unto itself, and cross the…