November 13 - November 15, 2017
We took a two hour train ride from Fukuoka to Arita, a small town known for its porcelain and ceramics. We heard about Koraku Kiln the last time we were in Japan, which was founded in 1865 and has been producing ceramics for the past 150 years. Over time, they've accumulated overstock and have been housing product in warehouses over the years. Just recently they started hosting a "treasure hunt" where visitors can pay 5000 yen to 10000 yen and can spend 90 minutes digging through the different crates and whatever you can fit in your basket is yours to take home.
Here's Jonathan using his Tetris skills to fit everything we wanted in our basket. We scored a dozen bowls, trays, mini vases, and cups. What's really awesome is that even though we had another 2 weeks in Japan, they were able to pack everything for us and ship it to our last destination before heading back to the States.
After our treasure hunt, we went on a tour of the kiln and got to see how they use molds and liquid clay to mass produce porcelain.
About 10 minutes from Koraku Kiln, we visited another kiln that practiced more traditional techniques and handmade designs.
Being a small town, there weren't a ton of places open to eat. We stumbled on this cute little cafe that had 1000 different cups on display and you could choose which cup you wanted to drink from if you ordered tea or coffee. They also had delicious curry and kaya toast with melted cheese. YUM! But there was this awesome custom Mini Cooper parked outside that Jonathan couldn't help but take pictures of!