Revive The 800-Year Old Traditional Tamba Pottery At Tachikui Sue No Sato

Feel the Old Tamba’s Presence at Tachikui Sue no Sato

If you stumble upon Tamba, be sure to visit Tachikui Sue no Sato, where you can encounter the traditional Tamba ware, one of Japan’s six ancient kilns, and perhaps get involved in some pottery making yourself. The making of Tamba ware is said to have begun somewhere between the end of the Heian Period (794-1185), and the beginning of the Kamakura Period (1185-1333), so it is believed to have a superb, more than 800-year long history. At the very beginning, this type of pottery was called Onohara ware, and another, older type of kiln was used (made by digging a hole in the hillside) for making the pottery. However, in the 17th century the so-called “climbing kiln” was introduced from Korea. In 1878, this ware was added to the list of Japan’s traditional ware types, under the name of Tamba-Tachikui ware.

Certainly the most distinguishing feature of Tamba ware is the use of the “climbing” kiln. Due to the extremely high temperature, the ash made from burning the pine firewood dances all around the inner part of the kiln, mixing with the glaze covering the pottery, which then results in various extraordinary patterns appearing on the surface of the ware. Precisely those variation in color and patterns, is what makes Tamba ware so extraordinary. Its simple and moderate beauty ought to stand out even more beautifully when put to everyday use, in your kitchen, or on the table.

But, making some pottery isn’t the only thing you can do at Tachikui Sue no Sato – there is plenty of room for some scenery-viewing, and lots of field trips! You can also admire many famous art pieces made during the Edo Period (1603-1868), or the “ancient Tamba” how it is also referred to, as well as the well-known artwork of many contemporary artisans.

Let’s Make Some Art at Tachikui Sue no Sato!

You can challenge yourself to many activities, such as making pottery at pottery class (admission fee required), or study about the kiln, the firing process, or pottery-making in general, by joining the kiln-studying and observing tour. As for the pottery class, you can choose to either make the artwork from the scratch, or to try out some ceramics decorating. If you feel like making your own pottery art, you will have to start with the clay-kneading first. But, there is no need to feel nervous or ashamed if you’re lacking in skill – there is a teacher present to support you and guide you through the process in detail, so even the amateurs can tackle this exciting activity with joy and relief. And the best part is the anticipation of your finished artwork! You just have to give it the last touch up to feel completely satisfied with how it looks, and then – leave it to the professionals. It should arrive at your address after about two months, so yes, you can wait in anticipation to see how it ended up looking after being baked in the kiln. The decoration activity is another way to have fun and show the world your creative side. Your task is to paint some decoration with a paintbrush on the already finished pottery. It is a great way to pleasantly surprise your beloved ones with a personal, handmade gift, don’t you agree? This unique pottery-making opportunity, experienced while surrounded by astonishingly beautiful nature, ought to make a wonderful memory you will gladly remember for the rest of your life.

On the other hand, you can make the best out of the “kiln-observing” tour and visit all of the 52 kilns existing in this area. We bet you will be happy even with only window-shopping of the kilns, so do take a look at them, and search for the one which appeals to your heart the most. Finally, you can even partake in some gatherings, festivals, and other similar activities, organized each season at the courtyard of the facility.

Information and the Map:

Name: Tamba Traditional Ware Park Tachikui Sue no Sato
Address: Sasayama, Konda, Kami-Tachikui 3
Phone Number: 079-597-2034
Access: take Shinki Bus bound for Kiyomizu, or Shinki bus bound for Hyogo Museum of Ceramic Art from Aino Station of JR Fukuchiyama Line, then get off at Sue-no-Sato-Mae bus stop; or get off at Tachikui-Kokaido-Mae bus stop, then walk for 5 minutes.
Price: admission fee for high school students and older is 200 yen (for groups including more than 20 people, the price is 160 yen); for elementary school students and middle high school students, the fee is 50 yen (no discount for groups); the pottery-making activity and such, is not included in the price (for more information on the fee, visit the official homepage)
Fixed Holidays: from the 29th of December, to the 1st of January.