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Unique Experiences in Arita
Discover the rich history of the birthplace of Japanese porcelain
With a long history of ceramics production, Saga Prefecture’s Arita is considered the birthplace of Japanese porcelain. Ceramics made here are called Arita ware, a name associated with excellent quality and elegant design.
In the centuries that have passed since kaolin clay was discovered in the area, Arita ware has undergone considerable development. Early Arita ware was known for its striking, blue underglaze designs, but a more colorful style called Kakiemon later emerged. Named after the potter who developed this style, Kakiemon ware is characterized by overglaze enamel decorations on milky-white porcelain.
Arita ware has been highly prized through the ages. When exports to Europe began in the late 17th century, European nobles instantly fell in love with these exquisite ceramics. Today, this porcelain is an enduring testament to the quality of Japanese craftsmanship. Several of Arita’s oldest kilns still remain, including Kakiemon Kiln, which is still run by the Kakiemon clan. Alongside them are newer kilns that take a modern approach to Arita ware.
Immerse yourself in Arita’s heritage on a luxury private tour. Your guide, an Arita ware expert, will take you to one kiln after another, providing ample opportunities for you to meet skilled artisans and watch them at work.