Arita Pottery Festival

Break from all the Crits for Water goodness! You can still bid for a 10k critique by Vahini until 11:59pm, EDT, tonight.  Each $20 will provide one person in a developing nation with clean water.  HUZZAH.

Anyway.

For those of you who aren’t up on Japanese holidays, last week was the so-called “Golden Week”.  Essentially, four Japanese holidays fall within a seven day period at the end of April/beginning of May, so all of Japan but the service industry get pretty much a full week off. Which means travel. Lots of travel.

My super awesome friend Sabsy invited me to hang out with her and my friend James, going to the Arita Pottery Festival and then watch a Softbank Hawks baseball game.  Both were things I’ve wanted to do since before I came to Japan, so my answer was, “Uhm. Yes please.”

Iz me at the pottery festival!

More after the jump.

Some of the crowd. Wonky saturation because I fail at editing.

The pottery festival was spectacular. About three kilometers of streets filled with nothing but handmade, hand-glazed, hand-painted pottery ranging from the super cheap (100 yen, or about US$1.20) to the super spendy (10 million yen, or about US$125,000, being for the largest porcelain urn in Japan/the world). Because it was misting/lightly raining, the streets weren’t overcrowded and lots of things were on discount for the festival. We wandered and searched for the perfect pieces for hours. Unfortunately, a lot of what I liked was outside of my budget, but I did end up finding some perfect mugs.

Some of the larger, way expensive pieces.

And the cheaper 100-en goodness.

I loved seeing all the different types of pottery in one place, though I have no idea what techniques were used, nor what they’re called (unfortunately). I loved a deep, all navy-blue type that sold for about 5000 yen (US$60) a cup. And a set of fantastic, almost pearl-looking, glistening sake cups and pitcher. Why did I not take pictures of these? I dunno. I’m just super lame, I guess. 😀

Plus, the festival was great for its wide variety of cheap coffee and specialty green teas. I would definitely recommend a visit if you ever make it to Saga in May. And also if you need to get new flatware. Or if you want to see and experience a traditional Japanese handcraft. Totally awesome.

Sabsy bought a sake set of these. I loved the detailing and the dark brown clay.

So do you folks have a like festival near where you live? Or any other recommended spots to visit when traveling to your area? Who knows where I’ll go next 😉

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