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advise on travel to southern japan.

updated sat 8 apr 06


Gus McCloskey on thu 6 apr 06

Hello to travelers,

The first place you want to visit to see porcelain in Kyushu is Arita.
Don't confuse this with Hizen which was originally a stoneware
production nearby. Arita and Imari are not too far apart and both have
something to offer. If you are traveling there from Fukuoka/Hakata
which is the last stop of the Shinkansen then you'll switch trains in
Hakata and take a JR line. There are English speaking staff in the
station and believe me, they have all the info you'll need.
Traveling by train get off at the Arita JR station and
walk straight about 200 meters and you'll find the Arita Toji Bijitsukan
which is on a small hill and not easily visible. You will see signs in
That will take most of the day to see, it's cheap and the displays are
Another place is called Porcelain Park which is closer to the Kyushu
This place is about 5000 yen to get into (somewhat expensive) but has a
large collection. I personally enjoy smaller shops with histories
they'll love
to share with you, this local flavor is something you don't get in a big
Also, just walking around town you'll pass numerous stores some
of which have been there more than 400 years. This should give you a start,
and remember half the fun is figuring out where to go next on your own!

Gus McCloskey

Fonda Hancock on fri 7 apr 06

I went to Arita when I was a High School Senior in 1969. My father was
stationed in Japan and I went with my mother from the base in Sasebo. It
was the most incredible experience. A street at least three miles long and
one either side, pottery , china, porceline..everything you could imagine.
We bought until we couldn't carry anymore, and we were carrying a LOAD,
and we had not spent over $100. Of course the exchange rate was 360 yen
for a dollar. We talk about it still and of course we have the many
tangible memories that we bought that day. I would love to visit again to
compare notes with my rememberances!

Fonda in Tennessee where there are too many tornadoes this spring!