Admire Masterpieces of Pottery at Mashiko Museum

Feed your inner muse at a museum dedicated to one of Japan's most celebrated ceramic artists

The Mashiko Museum of Ceramic Art sits to the southeast of Utsunomiya in the small town of Mashiko. While the museum celebrates all kinds of ceramic work, their collection is centered on the work of local artist Shoji Hamada, who was designated as a Living National Treasure by the Japanese government during his lifetime.

The first home Hamada purchased is one of the features of the museum. He lived in it with his family, artisans, and maids, hosting guests from around the world. It was relocated to the museum after the artist passed. The climbing kiln that Hamada used has been reconstructed at the museum, giving visitors an up-close look at the time-honored traditional methods by which Japanese pottery is made.

A local Mashiko printmaker by the name of Kihei Sasajima is also featured at the museum. They’ve collected nearly 300 of his prints and feature 20 pieces to be displayed at a time.

After you’ve explored the museum, don't forget to visit the salon for coffee, tea, or dessert. You'll be able to select your own cup and saucer from their selection of fine earthenware, all handcrafted in Mashiko. Sit back, relax, and experience the artwork as it was intended.