Tamba Sasayama Pottery Adventure in Tachikui Village — Shopping at Kilns & Galleries

Greetings from Kyoto

I love Japanese pottery and love visiting the quaint production regions, usually rural villages, to discover and purchase new pieces for my own collection. Nearby Tamba figures prominantly in the culinary and pottery culture of Kyoto. It’s big black soybeans, chestnuts and wild matsutake pine mushrooms are season essentials in the cuisine and the pottery is used often by tea and ikebana flower arrangement masters alike.

I recently visited Tamba Sasayama, a picturesque old castle town in rural Hyogo prefecture, about an hour or so from Kyoto. After visiting streetscapes and shops that seem to not have changed in a century or more, we took in the ruins of Sasayama Castle and ended the day with some wild boar hotpot nabe for dinner. The next day we traveled to one of the nearby pottery production villages about a 20 minute drive from Sasayama.

We walked for about half a day, dropping in at galleries of ten or so kilns along the rural road. We saw some really amazing pottery. We ended our half day walk at The Hyogo Museum of Ceramic Art.

Along the way we stopped at Hidekazu-gama (英一窯) and Tokatsu-gama (陶勝窯) kiln galleries. (Gama, or kama means kiln in Japanese.) I purchased some delightful ‘inoshishi’ wild boar ‘hashioki’ chopstick rests and small glazed bowls in three colors. I ordered a few more pieces at other kilns and am looking forward to their arrival. In the meantime, here are a few pics of the pieces I purchased.

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