Top choice in Western Honshū

This kiln and gallery-shop is run by the Kimura family, one of the six original families granted official permission in the early 1600s to produce pottery in the Bizen region. It's possible to take a free tour of the traditional step-style nobori-gama kiln and see the current generation of Kimura artists at work. From opposite Imbe Station, walk up and to the left.

Free tours in English are available – they may be able to accommodate if you just drop in, but call or email in advance to avoid disappointment. Firings only happen once a year, so tours are unlikely to show a working kiln. The free information pamphlet has an excellent short explanation in English of the traditional process of producing Bizen ware – a good place to start a visit to Imbe.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Western Honshū attractions

1. Tempogama

0.11 MILES

Tempogama is a large kiln ruin (c 1832), a short walk up a lane leading off Imbe's main street of shops and galleries. The kiln is fenced off for…

4. Amatsu-jinja

0.17 MILES

A simple shrine in a leafy setting, decorated with Bizen-yaki (Bizen pottery) figures of the animals of the Chinese zodiac. To get there, exit Imbe…

5. Imbe-jinja


This understated, pretty wooden shrine sits among the trees and bamboo groves of the hills behind Imbe.

6. Shizutani Gakko

5.14 MILES

The first public school in Japan, Edo-era Shizutani Gakko has wood interiors with glossy lacquered floors and beautifully preserved Bizen-yaki roof tiles…

7. Inujima Seirensho Art Museum

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The drawcard of little Inujima island is this copper refinery converted into an eco-building, displaying artist Yanagi Yukinori's surreal take on the…

8. Yumeji Art Museum

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Prominent Taishō-era artist and poet Takehisa Yumeji (1884–1934) is particularly known for his bijin-ga (images of beautiful women), and various wistfully…