Getting to know Hasami-cho and Nishinohara


2020.02.02

NAVITIME TRAVEL EDITOR

The town of Hasami sits in the very north of Nagasaki Prefecture, along the border with Saga Prefecture, or more specifically, bordering the town of Arita in Saga. Like Arita, Hasami has a long history of ceramic production that dates back several hundred years to the Edo period - both towns have a reputation of producing high quality china that is admired around the world, and the fact that they are situated so close together means the area is considered THE place to go if you want to learn about Japanese ceramics.

For those who are keen to learn about the town’s ceramic history there are two places we highly recommend checking out, the first is the towns Ceramics Park, and the other is the historic district of Nakaoyama.

  • Welcome to Hasami, a town with deep roots in Japanese ceramic history

    Welcome to Hasami, a town with deep roots in Japanese ceramic history

    The Hasami Ceramics Park features replicas of twelve rare kilns from around the world, including kilns from China, Korea and of course Japan. Also there are examples of kilns from Europe and the Middle East. Visitors to the park can see and learn about the history and techniques of pottery not only in Japan, but also across the globe. Along with the Hall of Ceramics next door, this is a great place to start if you’re new to the world of pottery in Japan.

    The Ceramics Park in Hasami

    The Ceramics Park in Hasami

    The Ceramics Park in Hasami

    The Ceramics Park in Hasami

    The Ceramics Park in Hasami

    The Ceramics Park in Hasami

    Head just a couple of kilometers south from the Ceramics Park and you will find yourself in the Nakaoyama district, where much of the town’s ceramics have been produced over the years. Nakaoyama is littered with charming red-brick chimney stacks that protrude from (mostly disused) coal-fired potteries, some of which date back to the Edo, Meiji and Taisho periods. Taking a stroll around this area will evoke plenty of feelings of nostalgia, and a few of the pottery studios also have shops you can pop inside and browse around. In spring the town throws a Cherry Blossom Festival and then later in the year, in October, there is an Autumn Porcelain Tour. Other than these two events the area is fairly quiet and sleepy, making for a great place to escape the crowds and soak up the atmosphere of old Japan.

    A view across the Nakaoyama District in Hasami

    A view across the Nakaoyama District in Hasami

    Many of the old potteries are still in use today

    Many of the old potteries are still in use today

    The majority of the families in the area have been working in ceramics for generations

    The majority of the families in the area have been working in ceramics for generations

    The sleepy Nakaoyama district of Hasami

    The sleepy Nakaoyama district of Hasami

    Yakimono Park
    place
    Nagasaki Pref. Higashisonogigunhasamichou Isekigou 2255-2
    phone
    0956852162
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  • 02

    Nishinohara

    For ten generations, from the Edo period right up until the turn of the last century, in the center of Hasami was a family business known as Hasami Ware Ceramic Works. They were considered one of the building blocks upon which the town’s ceramic industry was built. Sadly though the family business decided to close it’s doors for good in 2005, leaving behind a collection of old factories, studios and other administrative buildings. They didn’t sit empty for long though, as a group of young entrepreneurs decided to breath new life into the historic site, which contains several structures registered as national tangible assets in Nagasaki.

    Today Nishinohara is considered one of the coolest, hippiest spots in town with a collection of trendy shops, community-driven public spaces and various options for food and drink.
    Thankfully this new venture has managed to retain a feel of yesteryear, paying homage to the industry that occupied this space for so long.

    Nishinohara is a complex of old administrative buildings and pottery studios repurposed for a number of new establishments that cater for the whole family

    Nishinohara is a complex of old administrative buildings and pottery studios repurposed for a number of new establishments that cater for the whole family

    Period buildings sit among the plethora of stores adding to an atmosphere of past eras

    Period buildings sit among the plethora of stores adding to an atmosphere of past eras

    Aesthetically the atmosphere of Nishinohara is relaxing and pleasant on the eyes

    Aesthetically the atmosphere of Nishinohara is relaxing and pleasant on the eyes

    With that being said here we will introduce a handful of the small businesses that have popped up at Nishinohara and meet the people behind them. Sadly we didn’t get to meet everyone working hard to make Nishinohara the place it is today, but that means there will also be a few surprises for anyone who reads this before making their way there to see it for themselves!

    Nishi no Hara
    place
    Nagasaki Higashisonogi-gun Hasami Cho Isekigo 2187-4
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  • 03

    Monnéporte

    Meet Keiko, manager of Monnéporte, a store selling a range of stylish and funky “lifestyle goods” including stationary, books, music, accessories and childrens toys. This is the kind of shop you walk into, pick something up and say to yourself “I didn’t realize it but this is exactly what I want in my office/home/room!”, the shelves are stacked with fun, well designed items that suit a range of people and situations.

    Keiko Imamura, the manager of Monnéporte in Nishinohara

    Keiko Imamura, the manager of Monnéporte in Nishinohara

    The store has managed to retain the rustic feel of the disused pottery studio it is set inside

    The store has managed to retain the rustic feel of the disused pottery studio it is set inside

    Monnéporte sell a range of items suitable for various people and situations

    Monnéporte sell a range of items suitable for various people and situations

    Monnéporte is actually made up of two rooms, the first being the store mentioned above, with the second being an open space free for the community to use for a number of activities. The main usage it sees however is for exhibitions and art installations. The wide open space has a few comfortable chairs dotted around, alongside big wooden tables, making it a comfortable place to kick back, relax and enjoy whatever show or event is happening at any one time.

    The event space at Monnéporte is bright and comfortable

    The event space at Monnéporte is bright and comfortable

    Various things happen here including art installations, exhibitions and even pop-up markets

    Various things happen here including art installations, exhibitions and even pop-up markets

    Monnet Porto
    place
    Nagasaki Pref. Higashisonogigunhasamichou Isekigou 2187-4
    phone
    0956767163
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  • 04

    Hana Wakusui

    Meet Yuki, the man in charge at Hana Wakusui, a trendy shop selling a range of clothing, kitchenware and accessories for the home. Fairly new in his role he is striving to put Hasami and its creative community firmly on the map by selling a range of locally designed and/or produced items. These include functional items for the home like lampshades, vases, porcelain items for the kitchen and wicker baskets, as well as stylish clothes and other bits and bobs.

    Yuki Toda, on a mission to bring the crafts of the local community to a wider audience

    Yuki Toda, on a mission to bring the crafts of the local community to a wider audience

    The interior of Hana Wakusui has a rough and unfinished feel, with ivy crowing across the walls

    The interior of Hana Wakusui has a rough and unfinished feel, with ivy crowing across the walls

    They stock a range of locally crafted kitchenware

    They stock a range of locally crafted kitchenware

    Hanawakusui
    place
    Nagasaki Pref. Higashisonogigunhasamichou Isekigou 2187-4
    phone
    0956858155
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  • 05

    Grocery Morisuke

    Meet Yukiko of Grocery Morisuke, a small grocery store in the heart of Nishinohara specializing in import foods from around the world. Yukiko offers a wide range of natural and organic foods, spices and ingredients. Alongside a healthy selection of drinks (both alcoholic and non-alcoholic) this is a great place to stock up on the essentials for your trip to Hasami. There is also outdoor seating should you want to grab a drink to go and unwind outside amid the buzzy yet relaxed atmosphere of Nishinohara.

    Yukiko Tauchi the manager of Grocery Morisuke

    Yukiko Tauchi the manager of Grocery Morisuke

    The exterior of Grocery Morisuke has a retro feel that blends influences from European and Japanese design

    The exterior of Grocery Morisuke has a retro feel that blends influences from European and Japanese design

    The store itself is rather small but among the boxes and shelves are plenty of items to find!

    The store itself is rather small but among the boxes and shelves are plenty of items to find!

    GROCERYMORISUKE
    place
    Nagasaki Hasami Cho Isekigo 2187-4
    phone
    09045192795
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  • 06

    Minami Soko

    Located inside the original shipping office for the Hasami Ware operation, this pottery shop showcases the very best of contemporary Hasami porcelainware. They stock a total of five local brands, bringing a wide selection of hand-crafted pieces for the home.

    Each brand has a unique flavor and feel, meaning one can pick up a good range of pieces suitable for various occasions. Also, on the second floor of the shop is a workshop space used for various workshops related to pottery and ceramics. Be sure to enquire about upcoming workshops when you visit.

    Each brand at Minami Soko has a unique feel meaning you can find modern pieces as well as the more traditional designs

    Each brand at Minami Soko has a unique feel meaning you can find modern pieces as well as the more traditional designs

    Each brand at Minami Soko has a unique feel meaning you can find modern pieces as well as the more traditional designs

    Each brand at Minami Soko has a unique feel meaning you can find modern pieces as well as the more traditional designs

    Each brand at Minami Soko has a unique feel meaning you can find modern pieces as well as the more traditional designs

    Each brand at Minami Soko has a unique feel meaning you can find modern pieces as well as the more traditional designs

    Minamisoko
    place
    Nagasaki Pref. Higashisonogigunhasamichou Isekigou 2187-4
    phone
    0956767214
    opening-hour
    11:00-18:00
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  • 07

    Monné Legui Mooks

    And to finish off our little tour of Nishinohara we drop by Monné Legui Mooks for some much-deserved lunch. The menu offers a range of dishes that draw influence from Japanese and other Asian cuisines, that changes regularly depending on the season and the mood of the chef! The vegetables, fruits and rice used all come straight from local farms meaning the food is always fresh.

    Meet Hiromi Okada, the boss at Monné Legui Mooks

    Meet Hiromi Okada, the boss at Monné Legui Mooks

    The atmosphere inside is very relaxed but lots of comfortable sofas and low tables

    The atmosphere inside is very relaxed but lots of comfortable sofas and low tables

    A Thai Green Curry made from fresh ingredients straight from the local farm

    A Thai Green Curry made from fresh ingredients straight from the local farm

    You can’t miss Monné Legui Mooks, it stands at the entrance to Nishinohara

    You can’t miss Monné Legui Mooks, it stands at the entrance to Nishinohara

    As mentioned before there are other establishments in Nishinohara that we unfortunately didn’t get to explore. These include coffee shops, a public library, a bouldering wall and other shops similar to those listed above. However long you’re in Hasami for be sure to swing past Nishinohara and check it out for yourself!

    monne legui mooks
    rating

    4.5

    27 Reviews
    place
    Nagasaki Higashisonogi-gun Hasami Cho Isekigo 2187-4
    phone
    0956858033
    opening-hour
    12:00-18:00
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  • 08

    Hickory

    Hickory

    Hickory

    Hickory is one of the oldest used clothing shops in Shimokitazawa. This cool shop is nestled in a corner of an ordinary Japanese neighborhood while being home to American outdoor brand items dating from the 1940s to the 1990s. Their reliable collection is all in good condition and you can easily find your favorite piece by classic brands such as North Face, Columbia and Patagonia to name a few. Remember to also turn your gaze to the walls if you have a soft spot for sporty backpacks. Along with these fine items, they also stock casual women’s dresses in flower prints and ethnic patterns.

    hickory
    place
    Tokyo Setagaya-ku
    phone
    0334194146
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  • 09

    BIG TIME Shimokitazawa

    BIG TIME Shimokitazawa

    BIG TIME Shimokitazawa

    BIG TIME Shimokitazawa

    BIG TIME Shimokitazawa

    BIG TIME is a solid vintage and used clothing shop that has seven outlets in Japan. Their Shimokitazawa shop offers a wide variety of affordable American and European menswear and womenswear from the 1950s to the 1990s, as well as leather shoes, colorful accessories, retro homewares, and even furniture. If you’re still new to wearing used clothing and not too sure how to incorporate them into your style, have a look at their on-trend selection of regular clothing that has a slight vintage look. Traditional, retro, contemporary, bohemian, romantic, country - name any style you like and they will surely accommodate your needs.

    BIG TIME Shimokitazawa

    BIG TIME Shimokitazawa

    BIG TIME Shimokitazawa

    BIG TIME Shimokitazawa

    BIGTIME Shimo-Kitazawa
    place
    Tokyo Setagaya-ku Kitazawa 2-26-151-2F
    phone
    05038032253
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  • 10

    Zondag

    Zondag

    Zondag

    Zondag (it reads as “dontaku” in Japanese) is just five minutes’ walk from the Shimokitazawa Station (and diagonally opposite to HAIGHT & ASHBURY) and offers simple but subtly unique oversized menswear. Their sleek collection is mainly from the 1980s to the 2000s, with solid sporty jackets and sweatshirts of classic American brands, such as Nike, North Face, Campion, and Adidas. You can also look for more refined pieces from their stock of J. Crew and Banana Republic, or quality items from Ralph Lauren, Yves Saint Laurent, and COACH. You’ll surely find inspiration in their eclectic mixture of used clothing.

  • 11

    A-room

    A-room

    A-room

    If Shimokitazawa is your regular shopping spot, you can’t miss A-room, a solid vintage shop specializing in American menswear. Supplied by passionate buyers, they get new stock from the US every two months and are always packed full of hip vintage items. Stepping into the store, you’ll find their abundant stock of basic but must-have items from casual American brands, such as Nike, Reebok, Patagonia, and North Face. If you like to enjoy a mixture of chic and casual styles, you can pick up a sleek vintage suit and match it with a pair of Converse canvas shoes.

  • 12

    ALASKA vintage clothing

    ALASKA vintage clothing

    ALASKA vintage clothing

    ALASKA vintage clothing is home to all sorts of American used items, as well as the store’s original T-shirts that reflect their love for Alaska. Their fine collection of American comic T-shirts, eye-catching shorts and print shirts are carefully laid out by color, making them hard to miss once you enter the store. They also carry a wide variety of one-of-a-kind dresses, including 70’s style, ethnic patterns, sailor-style, bold embroidery, shiny china dresses...it’s a treasure trove for savvy vintage lovers!

    ALASKA vintage clothing

    ALASKA vintage clothing

    ALASKA vintage clothing

    ALASKA vintage clothing

    ALASKA
    place
    Tokyo Setagaya-ku Kitazawa 2-30-10
    phone
    0357387885
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  • 13

    Signal

    Signal

    Signal

    Situated in the northern area of Shimokitazawa, Signal located in front of ALASKA vintage clothing and caters to intrepid, hip vintage lovers of American used clothing and second-hand designer collections. The owner's fashion aesthetic is influenced by a ‘90s style (and he happens to be a ‘90s kid himself) but the store offers items from all sorts of fashion genres. There are also a variety of branded items from Balenciaga, Maison Margiela, RAF SIMONS, Yves Saint Laurent and Salvatore Ferragamo in this store if you want to add a sophisticated look to your usual style.

    signal
    place
    Tokyo Setagaya-ku Kitazawa 2-36-2
    phone
    0364078322
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  • 14

    HONEY WOOD USED CLOTHING

    HONEY WOOD USED CLOTHING

    HONEY WOOD USED CLOTHING

    HONEY WOOD USED CLOTHING is just six minutes’ walk from the Shimokitazawa Station and offers top-quality, secondhand American menswear. This friendly vintage shop has been delighting savvy shoppers since its opening in 2012. Sweatshirts, plaid shirts, Aloha shirts, T-shirts, jeans, sporty jackets, leather shoes, long coats, blazers, military jackets. Name what you want and they’ll offer you the finest quality items that will make you wonder if they're used at all. It's the owner's extensive knowledge and endless enthusiasm for American used clothing that make this shop so special and reliable for all sorts of vintage lovers.

    HONEY WOOD USED CLOTHING

    HONEY WOOD USED CLOTHING

  • 15

    Little Trip to Heaven

    Little Trip to Heaven

    Little Trip to Heaven

    Do you want to make a little trip somewhere? If so, go and check out Little Trip to Heaven in the northern area of Shimokitazawa. The concept of this shop brings to mind a European flea market, so you’ll definitely feel like you're making a little trip. They have plenty of fabulous American and European vintage items for women from the 1950s to the 1970s, as well as on-trend original items. You’ll encounter all kinds of garments that will catch your attention: casual cotton dresses, dreamy bohemian dresses, romantic long dresses, and even carefully embroidered, lacy wedding dresses! This beautiful vintage shop is a feast for the eyes.

    Little Trip to Heaven

    Little Trip to Heaven

    Little Trip to Heaven

    Little Trip to Heaven

  • 16

    SPiKe

    SPiKe

    SPiKe

    SPiKe

    SPiKe

    This amazing store is only two blocks away from HAIGHT & ASHBURY and sells a range of vintage American and military-inspired pieces for men and women, all of which are in mint condition. You can find almost anything here, including military jackets, university sweatshirts, Levi's jeans, trench coats, wool sweater, caps, bags, eyeglasses, and more. Some are dead stock or unworn items, so be prepared to meet the cream of the crop. Opening in November 2018 is their sister store, SPiCe, which specializes in menswear and is only five seconds away if you run from the East exit of Shimokitazawa Station.

    SPiCe

    SPiCe

    SPiCe

    SPiCe

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