6 Recommended Workshops to Make Your Own Japanese Pottery in Kanto
Japan has many towns and villages with ceramic arts that are over hundreds of years old. For over a hundred years, Japan has exported to Europe and America. This time we’re introducing spots where you can experience and learn the appeal of Japanese ceramics and porcelain!
1. Experience Japanese Ceramic Art at a Kominka! You Can Stay Overnight at “Mashiko Tougei Club”
To the north of Tokyo, in a town called Mashiko in Tochigi prefecture, they make pottery referred to as Mashikoyaki. Mashikoyaki is one of the most famous types of pottery among Japan’s many ceramic arts. Although there are many places that do Mashikoyaki in Mashiko town, “Mashiko Tougei Club” is a lodging facility with full amenities, making it a rather rare pottery classroom. In addition to the people who want to try their hand a little at pottery, there are also people staying for a while to properly learn pottery as well as many other things to look forward to. It’s okay to just stay over at their lodging facility, “Kominka Koboku”. Their pottery classroom also has staff who can speak English. Their trial class is 3,700 yen for half a day and 5,800 yen for a whole day for adults. If you only want to decorate ceramics then the price is from 500 yen.
HP: mashiko-tougei-club.jp/ (Japanese Only)
Address: 3288-6 Mashiko, Mashiko-machi, Haga-gun, Tochigi-ken (Google Map)
2. Japan’s famous Mashikoyaki. Learn under the direct guidance of a Mashikoyaki professional at “Kobo Fuwari”
“Kobo Fuwari” is also located in Japan’s Mashiko town, and it’s where many foreign customers go to try their hand at ceramic art. The head of this workshop is a professional potter and you can learn how to make pottery directly from them. A 2 hour trial course is 3,000 yen. Every month, there is even a full blown course for studying pottery that you can take. The registration fee for that is 5,000 yen and 2 lessons per month costs 4,000 yen (the cost of the clay is from 1,000 yen per kg).
Address: 4398 Mashiko, Mashiko-machi, Haga-gun, Tochigi-ken (Google Map)
3. Experience the ceramic arts in Tokyo’s shitamachi! You can also try a kimono at “YANESEN”!
Even in Tokyo, you can still find temples and old streets in the Yanaka district. Located there is “YANASEN”, a spot where foreigners can experience traditional Japanese culture. It’s close to tourist spots like Akihabara and Ueno, making it easy for travelers to stop by. The ceramics lesson is ¥4,850 for 2 hours. In addition to ceramics, YANASEN also offers soba noodle making, kimono fitting, tea ceremony, calligraphy, flower arrangement, India ink painting, kabuki and more. You can learn about Japan’s richly varied traditional culture with English interpretation.
Address: Yanaka 3-13-7, Taitou-Ku, Tokyo,110-0001 (Google Map)
4. Ceramics classroom at Omotesando in the heart of Tokyo “Saideigama”
Saidegama is in an ideal, tourist-friendly location. Omotesando is close to areas like Harajuku, Aoyama and Roppongi. You can enjoy ceramics that centers around “Oribe-yaki” pottery from Japan’s Gifu prefecture. The manual pottery wheel course is ¥3,500 for 1 hour (decorating the ceramics is an additional ¥3,500). If you’re touring around places like Harajuku and Roppongi, why not try your hand and ceramics here at Saidegama?
Address: 1F, 4 Chome-6-2 Jingumae, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo (Google Map)
5. Recommended for people who are staying in Tokyo for a while, “JIC CERAMIC STUDIO”
JIC CERAMIC STUDIO is a ceramics classroom located infront of Shibuya station. Among other things, Shibuya is easily accessible via bus or train. If you’re staying in Tokyo or the surrounding prefectures for more than 3 months, this is a recommended classroom for easy transportation access. The “trial course” aimed at beginners is 1 hour and 30 minutes per class with a total of 6 classes. While you’re at it, why not take the opportunity to do some shopping in Shibuya as well?
Address: KATO BLDG. 1F, 2-9-4 Dogenzaka, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo 150-0043 (Google Map)
6. Tourists heading to Japan’s famous health resorts, Hakone and Izu who want to try out ceramics can drop by studio “Goen”.
Hakone, Atami and Izu are sightseeing spots close to Tokyo. If you go to those areas, you’re sure to pass through a place called Yugawara-cho. Goen is a ceramic workshop located there in Yugawara-cho. While sightseeing in Hakone, Atami and Izu, tons of people stop by Goen to try their hand at ceramics. The proprietor graduated from a university in Canada and worked for a foreign consulting company but after retiring, they established the studio. Not only can you make your own pottery, but the ceramics class was opened with the idea of connecting many people through the art of ceramics. The class is ¥4,000 for about 2 hours. Your work can be sent to you at a later date so when you’re making a reservation, it’s probably best to have a forwarding address and so on. The lessons are explained in English.
HP: goens.jp/tougei/class/index.html (Japanese Only)
Address: 1847-40 Yoshihama, Yugawara-machi, Ashigarashimo-gun, Kanagawa-ken (Google Map)
This time around, we’re introducing some ceramic art workshops in the Tokyo area where you can receive explanations in English. You can make Kasama-yaki and Imado-yaki style pottery in Tokyo and the surrounding area. The towns that produce it offer many hands-on experience ceramic workshops and classes. You should also visit the places where you might have to use a little Japanese!
The information in this article is accurate at the time of publication.