Ceramic creations from fine art to furry friends, enjoy an artistic experience
Shigaraki is renowned as one of the leading pottery producing areas in japan. Located in Shiga Prefecture, the region is known for its rich history and tradition in ceramics. One of the best places to experience the artistry of Shigaraki pottery is the Shigaraki Ceramic Cultural Park. This cultural park showcases ancient ceramics that have been handed down in the region, as well as pottery associated with Shiga Prefecture.
Don’t Miss: Learning about the wabi-sabi of Shigaraki pottery
One of the highlights of visiting the Shigaraki Ceramic Cultural Park is the opportunity to learn about the wabi-sabi of Shigaraki pottery. Wabi-sabi is a Japanese aesthetic concept that celebrates the beauty of imperfection and impermanence. It is often associated with traditional Japanese arts, including pottery. Shigaraki pottery embodies the wabi-sabi philosophy with its warm colors and rustic, imperfect forms.
Picking up a piece of pottery that catches your eye
Another exciting aspect of visiting the Shigaraki Ceramic Cultural Park is the chance to pick up a piece of pottery that catches your eye. The park features a wide selection of pottery created by local artisans. From traditional tea utensils to modern decorative pieces, there is something for everyone. Whether you are a collector or simply looking for a unique souvenir, you are sure to find a pottery piece that resonates with you.
Checking out the noborigama, an ingenious climbing kiln
One of the must-see attractions at the Shigaraki Ceramic Cultural Park is the noborigama, an ingenious climbing kiln. This traditional kiln is used for firing pottery and has been an essential part of the Shigaraki pottery-making process for centuries. The noborigama consists of multiple chambers stacked on top of each other, allowing for efficient firing and temperature control. Visitors can observe the kiln and learn about the intricate process of firing pottery.
How to Get There
Getting to the Shigaraki Ceramic Cultural Park is relatively easy. The park is accessible by train and bus. If you are coming from Kyoto, you can take the JR Biwako Line to Kusatsu and then transfer to the Kusatsu Line to Kibukawa. From Kibukawa, you can take the Shigaraki Kohgen Railway to Shigaraki Station. Once you arrive at Shigaraki Station, you can either walk to the park or take a five-minute bus ride on the Koka City Community Bus Service.
One of the pottery greats
The history of Shigaraki pottery dates back to the 13th century, during the Kamakura period. During this time, Shigaraki clay gained popularity for its unique color and quality, especially for tea utensils. Over the centuries, Shigaraki has established itself as one of the six great pottery regions of Japan. Today, the region continues to produce high-quality ceramic art that is revered both domestically and internationally.
Unique tanuki statues in Shigaraki
In addition to its pottery, Shigaraki is also famous for its unique tanuki statues. Tanuki, also known as raccoon dogs, are a common sight in Japanese folklore. In Shigaraki, you can find ceramic tanuki statues ranging from a few inches tall to larger than an adult man. These statues are often displayed outside bars and izakayas, inviting passersby to have a drink. The tanuki’s goofy, inebriated smile is believed to bring good luck.
Chances to get your hands on some clay
The Shigaraki Ceramic Cultural Park provides visitors with the opportunity to experience the history and culture of various ceramic arts. The park features a museum specializing in ceramics, where you can learn about the different styles and techniques used in Shigaraki pottery. There is also an exhibition hall that showcases the “present” of Shigaraki ware, displaying ceramics as both industrial projects and works of art.
For those interested in hands-on experiences, the park offers regular pottery classes for the public. Whether you are a beginner or an experienced potter, you can learn from skilled instructors and create your own ceramic masterpiece. The park also has facilities for domestic and international ceramic artists to stay and work, fostering creativity and collaboration.
Additionally, the Shigaraki Ceramic Cultural Park hosts an annual event where artists sell their works. This event is a great opportunity to support local artisans and find unique pottery pieces to take home. However, it is important to note that the date of the event may vary, so it is recommended to check in advance when planning your visit.
In conclusion, the Shigaraki Ceramic Cultural Park offers a unique and immersive experience for pottery enthusiasts and art lovers alike. From ancient ceramics to contemporary creations, the park showcases the rich history and tradition of Shigaraki pottery. Whether you are interested in learning about the wabi-sabi philosophy, picking up a piece of pottery, or trying your hand at the pottery wheel, the park has something for everyone. Plan your visit to the Shigaraki Ceramic Cultural Park and discover the beauty and artistry of Shigaraki pottery.
Address And Maps Location:
2188-7 Shigarakicho Chokushi, Koka-shi, Shiga-ken