Kasama Craft Hills
Get crafty in the Ibaraki hills at this pottery park.
At the epicenter of Ibaraki’s traditional handicraft, Kasama Craft Hills is a mecca for all things ceramic from conventional to avant-garde earthenware.
Nestled in the rolling hills of Kasama Art Forest, this quiet craft commune is where visitors can see, touch, and experience Kasama Ware (otherwise known as “Kasama-yaki”) firsthand. Available in an abundance of styles and glazes, the hand-crafted tableware exhibit both artistic and practical elements and have been used in daily life since the Anei Period (1772-1781).
From drinking vessels to cookware, the distinguishing characteristic of this designated traditional craft lies in the clay. Sourced straight from the land, Kasama is blessed with an assortment of clay rich in plasticity and iron that achieve a deep brown when fired in a kiln.
While respecting the traditional ceramic techniques, this form of folk art has artistically evolved among resident potters who now create contemporary crockery beyond the table and tearoom. A visit to the Craft Hills workshop will allow you to tap into your inner artist as you turn the potter’s wheel and slab life into your one-of-a-kind clay creation. Classes are typically 165 minutes from start to finish and range from 2,000 to 3,000 yen.
The crafty hills, however, come ablaze once a year during Golden Week (between April 29th and May 5th) at the annual “Himatsuri” Pottery Festival. With over 200 pottery vendors on the premise, Ibaraki Prefecture’s largest event sees more than 500,000 visitors flock to the tranquil pottery town.