Art aficionados the world over know that Japan is home to some of the world’s most beautiful and exquisite pottery. The city of Tokoname in Aichi Prefecture—mere minutes from Chubu Centrair International Airport—is one of the nation’s Six Ancient Kilns, a pottery hotbed since the classical Heian Period (794-1185). To this day, it remains famous as the home of striking redware (Tokoname-yaki or Tokoname ware) and as one of the nation’s foremost producers of fine teapots and maneki-neko lucky cat figurines.
Choose from either of two paths (1.6 km or 4 km) and take a leisurely stroll along lush, rolling hills and backstreets dotted with towering red brick chimneys, and immerse yourself in the area’s rich history and artistic heritage. Visit kilns and workshops, museums, traditional residences, and other sites of cultural significance. Marvel at how the art blends into the landscape, with earthenware-lined paths and Japan’s largest “climbing kiln” (no longer active), which appears to sprout out of the hillside itself.
Afterwards, rest your legs and enjoy coffee or tea at one of the many comfortable and stylish cafes in town, peruse local galleries to search for the perfect souvenir to bring home, or even enjoy relaxing swimming or sunbathing at one of the local beaches. It’s the perfect day trip destination for any artistically-attuned visitor to central Japan.
Hours: No established hours, open year round. (Holidays and hours for individual facilities may vary.)
Admission: The footpath is free to stroll, though certain museums may charge an admission fee.
Address: 3-8, Sakaemachi, Tokoname-City, Aichi (Tokoname City Ceramic Hall)
Airport: Chubu Centrair International Airport
Open year-round. (Individual facilities may have different holidays.)
+81-569-34-8888 (Tokoname Tourism Association)
From Chubu Centrair Int’l Airport, take the Meitetsu Airport Line to Tokoname Station (5-minute train ride). The start of the path is just a 5-to-10 minute walk from the station.