Out of the six styles of ancient Japanese pottery, the
oldest and most revered form is Bizen-yaki. It traditionally
comes from Bizen, which the city is most recognized for.
Located in southeastern Okayama Prefecture facing the
Katakami Bay, the town encompasses a number of
ceramic shops and Bizen-yaki pottery. The pottery style
has been around for more than 1000 years. Bizen-yaki is
unique in the way that glazing and painting are not used
on the pieces. The designs are created by the flame in
the kiln so no two pieces are ever alike. In the workshop
you can experience making your own Bizen-yaki by hand
without the use of a potter’s wheel.
Bizen’s attractions are mostly dedicated to the town’s famous pottery and sword-making. The Bizen Traditional and Contemporary Art Museum showcases the history of bizen-yaki ceramics as well as the modern state of it. Visitors learn of its ceramic creation and the changes of kiln that has further developed into the contemporary ware artists produce today. There is also the historical Shizutani School, Japan’s oldest school for educating common people. This original site was completed in 1701 and is a designated national treasure. The buildings consist of Tang style stone walls, bizen ware roof tiles, and lovely grounds for cherry blossom and autumn leaf viewing.