Discover the world of Bizen ware

On this tour, a professional pottery artist who is a living master will help you gain an in-depth understanding of pottery in Japan.

Bizen ware is said to have originated in the 5th century and its simple beauty continues to fascinate us today. The tour will not only introduce you to major pottery styles in Japan and their history but also the way of life of ‘shokunin’ (masters) who produce them.

Tour details:
• Morning: We will visit the artist’s workshop located in the mountain area. He will show you his workshop/kiln and explain to you the way of life of ‘shokunin’, which is a core part of Japanese culture. You can experience making a Bizen ware, which can be sent to you at a later date (additional cost for material/postage).
• Afternoon:
(Option 1) The artist will take you to Imbe village, which is well known for its red-brick chimneys of Bizen ware kilns. You will visit different kilns and galleries with the artist, who will explain to you the history of Bizen ware and how to appreciate it.
(Option 2) With the artist, we will visit the historic site of Minami Ogama kiln, a 50m kiln from the 19th century, Okayama Prefectural Bizen Ceramics Art Museum and/or Kei Fujiwara Art Museum where you will be able to compare Bizen wares from ancient times with those from modern times with commentary by the artist.
(Option 3) We will visit historic sites nearby such as Shizutani School, the oldest school for common people which was built 340 years ago.

*For a 1 night / 2 days option, there is a Japanese-style ryokan, which is more than 150 years old, nearby. Please inquire for the option with accommodation.

*Similar programs can be arranged to other major pottery sites in Japan including Hagi and Iwami, in which the same master will accompany you to explain the different wares, their history and the way to appreciate them.

Tour Type:Private Tour
If more than 4, please inquire- we need to arrange extra car service with additional cost.
Price:Tour fee of ¥70,000/up to 4ppl. For the 5th person, additional ¥6,000 will be needed.
Tour Fee Includes:Local transport by car in the Bizen area. (The pottery master speaks English.)
Tour Fee Not Included:Transportation from/to Kyoto, Hiroshima, Osaka, etc. to Imbe and lunch (around ¥2,000, cash needed) are not included in the tour fee.
*JR pass can be used on most routes
Duration:Approx. 7 hours including traveling time from Kyoto/ Hiroshima.
Cancellation Policy:No refunds without exception for no-shows or cancellations within 2 weeks of start of tour (because of our arrangement with the master).
Weather:This tour is not cancelled for weather except in extreme circumstances (e.g., typhoons) in which case we will contact you and refund your payment in full.
Physical Activity:Light Walking
*We recommend to bring socks as you put off your shoes when entering private space.
Wi-fi:Public wi-fi is not available along most of the route of this tour.
Photos/Protocols:Your guide will advise but photography is allowed for most parts of the tour.
Directions to Starting Point:Imbe JR station (Okayama prefecture)
Note:*Please indicate any food allergies in advance.
*Guide contact and information on access to the meeting point will be provided after you register.
*Pottery making experience with additional cost is available.

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