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Tokoname Pottery Town

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Tokoname Pottery Town

Tokoname Pottery Town

Tokoname is located on the Chita Peninsula and has been the center for pottery production since the Heian Period. The town is one of the six most important ancient kiln towns along with Bizen, Echizen, Tanba, Seto, and Shigaraki. It had the greatest output of pottery during the Edo Period compared to the other kilns. Redware was the signature of Tokoname and produced ceramic water pipes as well as fine Japanese teapots. Today it is the number one producers for the popular maneki neko (lucky cat) figures. There are a few things to do Tokoname and the recommended activity is to follow the pottery footpaths. Tokoname has two pottery footpaths where one course is 1.6 kilometers and the other is 4 kilometers long. It is a great way to enjoy the ceramic heritage of the town.

The shorter course begins at Ceramic Hall, where there are exhibits featuring the pottery of Tokoname. As you continue to stay the course you will come to an area known as Dokanzaka, where the walls and the walkways are made from old ceramic pipes, clay rings and shochu bottles. There are a few brick chimneys along the path that have been preserved since the Meiji Period. Then on Climbing Kiln Square is the last kilns built into a hillside in Tokoname and is the largest of its kind in Japan. There are ten chimneys of various heights in the square. The longer pottery footpath passes by the Tokoname Ceramic Art Institute. The institute doubles as a training center and museum that displays Edo Period redware as well as tea bowls.