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Regions of Japan

Hokkaido Tohoku Hokuriku
Shinetsu
Kanto Tokai Kansai Chugoku Shikoku Kyushu Okinawa Islands SAPPORO TOKYO NAGOYA OSAKA FUKUOKA FURANO KUSHIRO AOMORI SENDAI FUKUSHIMA NIKKO HAKONE SADO TAKAYAMA KANAZAWA ISE KYOTO NARA HIROSHIMA NAGASAKI KAGOSHIMA NAHA
Hokkaido
Hokkaido
  • Hokkaido
Sub-zero temperatures and the greatest of outdoor environments, complemented by sizzling soul food and warm-hearted welcomes. Japan's great white north offers wild, white winters and bountiful summers—a haven for dedicated foodies, nature lovers and outdoor adventure fans seeking an adrenaline rush
Tohoku
Tohoku
  • Aomori
  • Akita
  • Iwate
  • Yamagata
  • Miyagi
  • Fukushima
Sleek apple-red and electric-green shinkansen whisk you up to a haven of fresh powder snow, fresh fruit and fearsome folk legends Fearsome festivals, fresh powder and vast fruit orchards—the rugged northern territory of Tohoku offers a fresh perspective on travel in Japan
Hokuriku Shinetsu
Hokuriku Shinetsu
  • Niigata
  • Toyama
  • Ishikawa
  • Fukui
  • Nagano
Mountains and sea meet in one of Japan's wildest regions, and the result is sheer beauty. Once largely inaccessible, Hokuriku is now reachable by shinkansen from Tokyo in a matter of hours An easily accessible slice of rural Japan offering unrivaled mountainscapes and coastlines, endless outdoor adventure and amazing ocean fare
Kanto
Kanto
  • Tokyo
  • Kanagawa
  • Chiba
  • Saitama
  • Ibaraki
  • Tochigi
  • Gunma
Characterized by the constant buzz of the world's most populous metropolitan area, the Kanto region is surprisingly green with an array of escapes that include mountainous getaways and subtropical islands Experience diversity at its fullest, from the neon of Tokyo to the ski slopes of Gunma, exotic wildlife of the Ogasawara Islands and cultural heritage of Kamakura
Tokai
Tokai
  • Yamanashi
  • Shizuoka
  • Gifu
  • Aichi
  • Mie
Served by the shinkansen line that connects Tokyo, Kyoto and Osaka, the Tokai region provides plenty of interesting diversions and easy excursions Tokai means "eastern sea," and this region stretches east from Tokyo to Kyoto and includes blockbuster attractions such as Mt. Fuji and Takayama
Kansai
Kansai
  • Kyoto
  • Osaka
  • Shiga
  • Hyogo
  • Nara
  • Wakayama
From raucous nights out to outdoor thrills to peaceful reverie, trying to categorize the Kansai region is a futile task The Kansai region is one of extreme contrasts—the neon lights of Osaka and glittering Kobe nightscape, the peaceful realms of Shiga, Wakayama and Nara, and the cultured refinement of Kyoto
Chugoku
Chugoku
  • Tottori
  • Shimane
  • Okayama
  • Hiroshima
  • Yamaguchi
Less-traveled and delightfully inaccessible at times, the Chugoku region is a reminder that the journey is sometimes more important than the destination Welcome to Japan's warm and friendly western frontier, where the weather is warmer and the pace of life is slower
Shikoku
Shikoku
  • Tokushima
  • Kagawa
  • Ehime
  • Kochi
Providing the stage for literary classics, fevered dancing and natural wonders Island-hopping, cycling, soul-warming spiritual strolling and red-hot dancing—the island of Shikoku gets you up and moving
Kyushu
Kyushu
  • Fukuoka
  • Saga
  • Nagasaki
  • Oita
  • Kumamoto
  • Miyazaki
  • Kagoshima
Easily reached by land, sea and air, the dynamic Kyushu prefectures are bubbling with energy, culture and activity The southern island of Kyushu is home to volcanoes ranging from sleepy to smoky, succulent seafood, steaming hot springs and the country's hottest entrepreneurial town
Okinawa
Okinawa
  • Okinawa
Ruins and recreated castles of the Ryukyu kings nestle amid magnificent beaches in Okinawa, a diver's paradise teeming with an amazing array of coral and undersea life Fly to Okinawa and discover a distinct island culture born of subtropical sun, white sand, coral, mangrove jungles and the age of the Ryukyu Kings

Culture

The Shigaraki Ceramic Cultural Park 滋賀県立陶芸の森

Ceramics from fine art to furry friends

The Shigaraki Ceramic Cultural Park celebrates the area's long history with in pottery.

Don't Miss

  • Learn about the wabi-sabi of Shigaraki pottery
  • Grab a tanuki statue for home
  • Look for a "nobori-gama," an ingenius "climbing kiln"

How to Get There

It is accessible by train to Shigaraki Station then by bus.

From Kyoto, take the JR Biwako line to Kusatsu (note that the JR Tokaido main line is also known as the Biwako line in this area). From Kusatsu, take the Kusatsu line to Kibukawa. From Kibukawa, take the Shigaraki-Kogen-Tetsudo railway to Shigaraki station. From Shigaraki station you can walk or take a 5 minute bus on the Koka City Community Bus Service.

One of the pottery greats

It's beleived that Shigaraki got its start in pottery and ceramics in 742, making tiles for a nearby palace. Over time, the color and quality of Shigaraki clay became appreciated for tea utensils. Now, the Shigaraki area is known as one of the six great pottery regions of Japan.

Unique tanuki statues in Shigaraki

These days, Shigaraki continues to produce high-end ceramic art. The style is often warm in color and in a "wabi-sabi" style that celebrates simplicity and imperfection. The area also makes lots of humble household implements. Uniquely, Shigaraki is famous for its tanuki statues, from a few inches tall to bigger than an adult man. The tanuki raccoon dog is a forest critter who stands outside bars and izakaya, inviting passers by to have a drink. His goofy inebriated smile also brings good luck.

Different exhibition halls in the park

The Shigaraki Ceramic Cultural Park aims to expose visitors to this ancient and continuing heritage. It has multiple exhibition halls displaying fine art as well as industrial ceramics. It also hosts research facilities, artists in residence, and hands-on experiences for visitors. There is an annual pottery festival and sale, but the dates have shifted in recent years so check ahead.

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