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Discover HIZEN

Exquisite Ceramics That Inspired the World

Secret of the Ceramic Kilns

The Potteries in Hizen: 400 Years in the Making

A Journey Through the Ancient World of the Pottery Towns

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Hizen – The Birthplace of Japanese Porcelain Ware

From ancient times, this area was a booming hub of exchange with China and the Korean Peninsula.

Hizen also thrived as one of Japan’s windows to the Western world from the time when Portuguese and Spanish missionaries made their way to the country in the late Muromachi period (the latter 16th century).

At the end of the 16th century, the arrival of countless potters from the Korean Peninsula paved the way for the creation of the first high-quality ceramics in Japan.

Here, artisans shaped their craft, vying for perfection as they developed their own original traditions and sensitivities using the quality soil and rocks from the mountains and water in the area’s rich natural environment.

Hizen’s ceramics have the world captivated with their delicate, colorful artistic expressions, and at the same time, reflected the daily lives of the people.

Today, the kiln-brick walls and smokestacks that decorate their towns remain, taking us a step back in time.

The Eight Pottery Towns in Hizen

Map of Hizen and The Eight Pottery Towns

Saga Prefecture

Karatsu City

Karatsu City is located in the northwestern part of Saga Prefecture and faces the Genkai-Nada Sea. A section of the city is part of the area that forms the Fukuoka metropolitan area. The city is famous for festivals such as the Karatsu Kunchi and is known for Karatsu ware.

 

Imari City

Imari City is located in the western part of Saga Prefecture. The city is famous for Imari Nabeshima ware that was shipped from Imari Port. The area is known for producing Imari beef and Imari fruits, such as pears and grapes.

 

Takeo City
Takeo City is centrally located between Saga City and Sasebo City in Nagasaki Prefecture. The history-laden, 1,300-year-old Takeo Onsen is located in the heart of the city. Takeo ware is a must-see.

 

Ureshino City
Ureshino City is located in the western part of Saga Prefecture and is home to Ureshino Onsen, such as Siebold-no-Yu. This area produces Hizen Yoshida and Shida wares and is famous for Ureshino tea and hot spring tofu.

 

Arita Town
Arita Town is located in the western part of Saga Prefecture and has long been known as a town of porcelain (Arita ware). Arita Town has rice cultivation fields built in the distinctive landscape of “rice terraces” and is also a leading production area for livestock in the prefecture.

 

Nagasaki Prefecture

Sasebo City
Sasebo City is the ninth largest city in Kyushu. It is also famous for the local “Sasebo burger” and the Huis Ten Bosch theme park. It is the home of Mikawachi ware.

 

Hirado City
Hirado City includes both Hirado island that lies north and south and a scattering of about 40 small and large islands. Before Japan closed its doors, it functioned as an international trade port with China, Portugal, the Netherlands and other countries. The city produces Nakano ware.

 

Hasami Town
Hasami Town is located in the center of Nagasaki Prefecture and is the only municipality in the prefecture that does not face the ocean. This area produced ceramics from the early Edo period (the first half of the 17th century) and is famous for Hasami ware.

 

Articles and Photos

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Hizen Recommended Itineraries

Find recommended itineraries where you can easily experience Hizen.

Hizen Special Feature

Check out the various foods, beauties and recommended sites that you can enjoy in Hizen.

Gallery

Come see photos of Hizen’s ceramics and famous sites and scenes.

Video Guide

Explore the ceramics of Hizen: Birthplace of Japanese Porcelain Ware

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