An astounding 380 distinctive styles of pottery, including the renowned production center of Mashiko Ware pottery.
Mashiko is located in the southeastern part of Tochigi, and belongs to the Prefectural Nature Park which is situated in the northernmost part of the Kanto Plain. The town is known as a production center of pottery in Japan and also in the world.
In the middle of the 19th century, Keizaburo Otsuka found potter's clay at Ohtsu-sawa and built a kiln to bake it, which was the origin of Mashiko ceramics. Later at the beginning of the 20th century, a ceramist, Shoji Hamada, built a kiln in Mashiko. Since then the number of potters there has been increasing, and it now amounts to more than 380. Ceramics fairs are held every spring and autumn, and about 300,000 visitors in spring and 170,000 visitors in autumn attend.
In Ceramic-Art-Messe Mashiko, a theme park of pottery, you can enjoy the exhibition of works by Shoji Hamada and others. You can find the works of modern ceramists, too. There is a pottery studio at the site where you can try your hand at making pottery and painting it yourself. In Mashiko Sanko-kan, a reference collection museum of Hamada, not only his ceramic works, the kiln with stepped chambers he used, and the house he lived in, but also craftwork made in his lifetime and a collection of works by his associates are on display.
From Tokyo :
[Rail] Oyama Station is 45 minutes from Tokyo Station by the JR Tohoku Shinkansen Line. Shimodate Station is 20 minutes from Oyama Station by the JR Mito Line. Mashiko Station is 40 minutes from Shimodate Station by the Mo-oka Line.
From Osaka :
[Rail] Tokyo Station is 2 hours 30 minutes from Shin-Osaka Station by the JR Tokaido Shinkansen Line.