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Shigaraki Pottery Town

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Shigaraki Pottery Town

Shigaraki Pottery Town

Shigaraki is a ceramic town of Koka City situated in the southern part of Shiga, and known as the home of Shigaraki ware. It has one of the six oldest kilns in Japan and is known historically for its good clay. Shigaraki ware is said to have begun when tiles were made in 742 for the construction of Shigaraki no Miya Palace. Nobori- gama is a step-like kiln constructed on a slope. The fire is set from the lowest compartment and when the temperature in that compartment reaches a certain level, the fire is set in the next compartment followed by another. Depending on the number of compartments, the kiln is kept alight for seven to nine days. After three days and nights of cooling down, the pottery wares are finally brought out. The Shigaraki Ceramic Cultural Park has several museums and ceramic ware halls, as well as cultural facilities, such as the Exhibition Hall of Industrial Ceramics and the Institute of Ceramic Studies. The Ceramics Festival held every summer is popular with ceramics lovers looking for lucky finds.