Discover Hyogo’s Ceramic History at Tachikui Sue-no-Sato
Wander through the streets of Tamba and chances are you stumble across Tamba ware, a localized form of pottery that through years passed through and perfected here through generations. If you do find yourself in the area, be sure to pay a visit to Tachikui Sue -no-Sato, the home of Tamba pottery.
Here guests can be delivered to the 800-year-old craft and even try their hands making them very own Tamba ware. If you really want to immerse yourself in the culture of the area , then there's no better way than exploring the town's historic and culturally significant craft.
It's said that the origin of Tamba ware stretches back to sometime between the end of the Heian period (794- 1185) and the beginning of the Kamakura period (1185-1333). During these early days, this form of pottery was called Onohara ware and the pottery was in fact made using a slightly different kiln to the one we see today. Back in the Onohara ware period, items were fired in a hole dug into the side of a mountain. As the pottery began to develop as did the method of the clay firing.
During the 17th century, the firing method transitioned into what is called a climbing kiln, a design that originally came from Korea. What's particularly special about this kiln is the way its extreme temperature makes the ash inside the kiln dance around the pottery items, sticking to the glaze on the creations to create some truly extraordinary and completely unique designs. Here at Tachikui Sue-no-Sato guests can see this method in action and even get up close with the kiln and its methodology by creating their very own works. You can make your own piece from scratch or design a previously shaped creation depending on your time.
Beyond pottery making workshops, Tachikui Sue-no-Sato also offer plenty of other things to see, do, and learn about the world of pottery. Wander through the building's fascinating museum to learn about all the different famous pieces made during the Edo Period (1603-1868), which sit beside contemporary pieces made by local expert potters. For super dedicated guests there's also an opportunity to go on a 'kiln-observing tour' wandering through the About 60 kilns that call this little pocket of Tamba home. The area is also home to a number of seasonal festivals and parties, hosted in the courtyard, so keep an eye out for the event listings.
To get to Tachikui, take the JR Fukuchiyama line to Aino Station, from there catch the Shinki bus bound for Shimizu or the Shinki bus bound for Hyogo Museum of Ceramic Art and get off at Sue-no-Sato-mae. From there it's an easy five-minute walk. Entry fee to join a pottery class depends on what type of class you’d like to take, however they vary between the 500 yen to 1,700 yen range.