2023 - All about the Arita Pottery Market

Check recommended resting places and Arita-yaki gourmet foods.

Hello! My name is Takezawa, and I am the owner of UTSUWABI, a store that sells ceramics made by artists.

This time, I would like to introduce the Arita Pottery Market, the largest pottery fair in Japan.

Citation: Arita Merchants' Association

The Arita Pottery Market is held twice a year, in spring and fall, in the town of Arita in Saga Prefecture.
The spring event is held around GW.

The Arita Pottery Market features so many works of art that there is no way to see them all.

We would like to guide you through our past experiences, access to the venue, information on popular artists, and tips on how to enjoy the event!

Also, since the Hasami Pottery Festival is held nearby at the same time, there are tours that visit both pottery fairs.
If you can afford it, it might be a good idea to extend your visit there as well.

I would like to go! What kind of vessels are there? If you are interested in going, please feel free to contact us.

Arita Pottery Market Overview

Arita Pottery Market
Date & Time: April 29, 2023 (Saturday) - May 5, 2023 (Friday, national holiday)
Location : All over Arita Town, Nishimatsuura-gun, Saga Prefecture (main streets from ~Kami-Arita Station to Arita Station)
Time : Approx. 8:00 - 18:00 (varies according to each store)

The main street from Arita Station to Kami-Arita Station is about 4 km long!
Although the atmosphere of the town is that of a peaceful pottery town during the day, during the festival, stores line up at every corner and it gets quite crowded.

Citation: Arita Merchants' Association

It is such a big event that 1.2 million people visit every year, and tours are organized from other prefectures.

There are also events related to Arita and a local gourmet fair, so you don't have to be a pottery aficionado to enjoy the event! You don't have to be a fan of ceramics to enjoy the festival!

This year's GW is also a long one, so it is a very long time to visit.

What to see at the Arita Pottery Market! Featured Pottery Artists and Artisans

In addition to potteries and ceramic trading companies, there are many artists who have stalls at the pottery market. Here we introduce some of the notable potters and wonderful artists who have participated in the Arita Pottery Fair in the past.

Popular vessels may sell out quickly, so the latter half of the article includes tips on how to get your favorite one. Please take a look at the tips in the latter part of the article as well.


As a trading company in the production area, “KIHARA” has been presenting collaborative works with various companies and creators both in Japan and abroad.

KIHARA produces modern designed vessels in all shapes and sizes, from those perfect for daily use to those that you would like to show off on a special occasion.

Be sure to check out the sale during the pottery fair to see if you can find a bargain on a design you are interested in.


2016/arita is a brand created to commemorate the 400th anniversary of Arita-yaki porcelain and started as a collaborative project between Arita and the Netherlands.

It started as a collaboration between Arita and the Netherlands. 16 designers from around the world and 16 ceramic studios in Saga Prefecture have come together to propose innovative forms of Arita-yaki porcelain. Visitors to Arita Sera can actually see the works of art.

Koyo Kiln

Citation:Arita Ware kiln Koyo kiln

Koyo Kiln is a pottery company that has two generations of pottery making, with each piece being hand painted in Kuresu (a Japanese mineral pigment). The brush used for each piece is different depending on the vessel and design.
Some of the vessels are decorated with multicolored patterns, but they give a gentle impression.

There are also hand-built vessels and a series of vessels that use classic patterns in a cute way. The designs and shapes are attractive and can be used for both Western and Japanese table settings! UTSUWABI handles relatively simple items.

Gototeizan Kiln

This Arita-yaki potter has been engaged in the production of underglaze blue pottery since 1955.

Although these works are made with traditional patterns and traditional manufacturing methods, they have exquisite modern elements. We recommend these vessels for young women who are interested in simple indigo-colored dyed vessels.

The fact that they seem to go well with other tableware makes them a safe purchase. It is quite reassuring to have a few in your cupboard. At pottery fairs, items that cost 2,000 to 3,000 yen each were sometimes sold for 500 yen each!

Tase Kiln

Tase Kiln is engaged in the production of each piece with the motto, “Arita-yaki, with its long history, is a beautiful and inspiring vessel, shaped to be used for various things, and to add color to the table.

The “Knot” series, including “Kissho Knot” for good luck and health and “Awaji-Knot” for longevity, are perfect for celebratory occasions.
The lead-free paints developed uniquely by Arita are used, making them safe to use.

The Arium/Crest series with its cute atmosphere is recommended for women.


Imamura Seito, which has been in business for 350 years, is a porcelain brand launched by the industrial designer Masanori Ohji.

Imamura Seito is a pottery established by the descendants of the Imamura family, which was the official kiln of the Hirado domain. The company makes use of the white porcelain techniques that have been handed down from ancient times to produce contemporary daily-use vessels.

The pottery is particular about the selection of clay, aiming for a natural “raw white” rather than the clear, bluish white that is characteristic of Arita-yaki porcelain. The pottery is characterized by its somewhat antique texture and refined shape.

Alita Porcelain Lab.

Arita Porcelain Lab is a long-established Arita porcelain kiln with a history dating back to 1804.
To bring “Nippon” Modern Luxury to the world, Arita Porcelain Lab continues to produce products that preserve tradition and meet the needs of modern lifestyles.

The company's products range in style from the warmth of handcrafted Oka Shingu series to the Gold Imari series, a modern redesign of the traditional Kinrande Ko-Imari style.
They also feature collaborations with brands and artists from around the world.

Rokune Kiln

Rokune Kiln is a pottery studio located in the woods of Omura City, Nagasaki Prefecture.

He makes tea sets, sake cups, flower vases, and other vessels using earthenware rather than porcelain clay, which makes the most of the materiality of the clay. The artist's refined, yet gentle form is a rare and unique feature of his work, and his excellent taste can be felt. The simple and unobtrusive texture of these vessels will make them a mainstay on your dining table. The balance of austerity and charm is also attractive.

Keizan Kiln

The beauty of Keizan Kiln's vessels is in their underglaze blue coloring.
The kiln has a history of more than 60 years, and even today, each piece is still carefully hand-painted.
The uniqueness of Arita-yaki porcelain and the nostalgic yet modern style of somezome-tsuke are very appealing to the eye.

Recently, a new brand, “mg&gk (mogutogoku),” which proposes a combination of food such as snacks and beverages such as tea, has been launched and new works are being created.


Teruiso is an artist who was born and works in Arita Town. The raw materials used are the same as those used for traditional Arita-yaki pottery.

The white porcelain vessels are handmade one by one, and the small distortion and bumpiness of the porcelain vessels make them comfortable to use. The colors have a matte, warm texture. The blue line engraving series has a modern yet tasteful rustic pattern of thin blue lines and white. Each of these works is one that you will want to hold in your hands.

Mizutani Kazune

Mizutani Kazune is a young artist working in Yatsushiro City, Kumamoto Prefecture. Her works have lovely feminine shapes made of Amakusa porcelain clay, but the subtle burnt and lapis lazuli colors add depth to the lovely shapes.

Two types of glazes, ash glaze and lapis lazuli glaze, are used. The vessels also have an elegant elegance, making them suitable for mature women. When served at the dining table, it will surely make you smile.

Maki Nakahara

Maki Nakahara is a ceramic artist from Saga Prefecture who works in Omura City, Nagasaki Prefecture. After studying ceramics in Arita, she trained under Kazugen Terui and became independent.

His works made of Amakusa ceramic stone, a traditional Arita porcelain, have a very refined form with a sense of transparency. The colors are delicate and look like European antiques. But somehow, they evoke a sense of warmth and gentleness that makes one feel relieved.

Sachiyo Saito

Sachiyo Saito, who trained in Arita and now makes vessels on Awaji Island, uses a technique called katauchi to draw motifs of flowers, grasses, and other classic patterns.

The cute and colorful pieces with various patterns make you want to collect them. They can be used for a wide range of purposes besides vessels! Those who have actually seen Saito's work have found it not only lovely, but also delicate and beautiful.

Akihiro Terada

The artist makes pottery in the rich natural environment of Futtsu City, Chiba Prefecture.

The colors and shapes are sharp and simple, yet the warmth of the rough clay can be felt.

The atmosphere of the bowls looks as if they have been used for a long time, which makes us feel at ease. They are all so attractive that you will want to place them within easy reach of your eyes. They seem to fit in easily and tastefully on any dining table! This is the kind of tableware that even men will appreciate.


Ryota Ishihara

BIRDS' WORDSさん(@birds_words)がシェアした投稿 -

Ryota Ishihara studied abroad in Germany and worked for an interior goods company before establishing her own company, Pebble Ceramic Design Studio, in 2013.

The main works include the Flower Series, in which a floral design is carved into the fabric and painted over with brown rust paint, and the Plants Series, in which Japanese paper is cut into plant shapes and painted using a traditional technique called washi-dyeing, in which the paper is freely combined into plant shapes.
The plants, flowers, and animals are so cute that one cannot help but smile at the hand-painted plants, trees, and animals on each piece.

Takeryo Kawaguchi

roomscape-tsujidoyaさん(@rstsujidoya)がシェアした投稿 -

Kawaguchi graduated from the Arita Ceramic College in 2000, and after studying under Shiro Banura and Takashi Hanaoka, became independent in 2005.

He produces kohiki vessels, ash-glazed kohiki vessels, and Mishima vessels.
All of Kawaguchi's vessels are simple and warm.
Mishima,” which was praised as ‘simple beauty’ by tea masters in the late Muromachi period, is a simple yet elaborate technique, and is a type of pottery that should be held in the hand and savored carefully.


Check recommended resting places and Arita-yaki gourmet foods.


The cafe is located in KILN ARITA, a 1-minute walk from JR Arita Station.

The menu features dishes made with local Saga ingredients. Coffee is carefully brewed by hand drip, and Japanese tea leaves from Ureshino are available in a wine glass with a water-dripped flavor tea!

Aritayaki pudding made with Aritayaki ware is recommended here. What a surprise, you can take this Aritayaki porcelain bowl home with you.

Aritayaki Curry

The Arita Tourist Association is located in the center of the pottery market, a 10-minute walk from JR Arita Station.
Not far from there, a local gourmet fair is held every year.

They can enjoy food associated with Arita and the tastes of the local shopping district!
One of the famous menu items is “Aritayaki Curry”.

You can also take your bowl home after your meal here.

It seems that some of the restaurants at the gourmet fair offer a place to sit down and relax, so it is a good idea to take a break.

Reference:Arita Sampo, Arita Tourist Association

Tips for buying at discounted prices

The pottery market is called a “market,” and many Arita porcelains can be seen.
The price range varies from a few hundred yen to millions of yen.

Artists' pottery is not often discounted, but you may be able to buy pottery made by potters and manufacturers at outlet prices, such as “B” pieces.

Arita Pottery Market at outlet prices

Arita-yaki porcelain, which has a high-end image, can be obtained at the pottery market at a very reasonable price.
The overall feeling is that they are sold at discounted prices of 30-50% off. Some of them are even less than half price!
Even B-grade items with scratches or uneven color are quite a bargain if you don't mind.

If you are buying in bulk, or if you have a piece of pottery that is over your budget but you can't give up on... negotiating the price is one of the best parts of the market!

High quality = first day!

The first day is the best day to get the good stuff. Even more so, early morning is ideal.

However, many people think so... You must be prepared for considerable crowding.

By 6:00 a.m. on the first day, the parking lots in the neighborhood are likely to be full. The pottery fair grounds are large, so on the day of the fair, you will need as much energy and stamina as you have budgeted!
If you want to shop without regrets on the crowded first day, you may want to consider staying overnight the day before.

Certificate of Participation in the Pottery Market

Citation: Arita Merchants' Association

Stores that present such a participating store certificate are registered with the Arita Pottery Market and are given a registration number.

This makes inquiries much easier when you want to order additional vessels or if you have forgotten something.
If you find a store you are interested in, you may want to take note of this registration number or take a picture of it for later use.

Leisurely enjoy yourself? Finding the vessels you are looking for?

Preliminary checks are key.

The official map of the Arita Pottery Fair lists many stores. In reality, however, there are many stores that are not listed on the map.
You should be careful not to miss your favorite potteries because you did not know they were exhibiting.

We recommend that you check not only the official website but also the websites of the potteries in advance to see if they are exhibiting.

Opening hours vary from store to store. Overall, most stores open from 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., but there are popular stores that open early in the morning, so if there is a kiln you are interested in, you should definitely check it out. Popular artists and potteries are crowded with people from early in the morning, so rather than going from one end of the map to the other, you should head there first.

Hotels and inns will also be packed with exhibiting artists and tourists during the pottery fair. If you wish to stay overnight, you need to make a reservation as early as possible.

Decide on a date, time, and means of transportation.

If you want to avoid the traffic and enjoy the atmosphere, come on the second day or later!
On the first day of each year, people flock to the festival to get their hands on a limited number of goodies.

There are many bus tours, the nearby streets are quite crowded, and the parking lots tend to be full. It may be better to park your car in a distant parking lot and take a shuttle bus that travels around the city to the center of the pottery market.

If you do not plan to buy a large quantity of pottery, you may feel more comfortable using public transportation. 

When looking around the store, you can

The main route from Arita Station to Kami-Arita Station is about 4 km! Physical strength is a must.

There are coin lockers at Arita Station, so if you have heavy luggage, leave it with them. Of course, there are all kinds of breakables in the store and on the long road, so it is best to stay light & compact.

If the coin lockers are full, some stores will keep your luggage for a few hundred yen each only during the pottery market.

The locations and prices of temporary luggage storage facilities may also change from year to year, so you may want to look for one if you are not sure.

Take a stroll through the pottery market

main street

The main street of the pottery market is the street from JR Kami-Arita Station to JR Arita Station. 600+ pottery and porcelain stores line the street, making it an impressive sight!

During the period of the fair, the street is a pedestrian paradise, so you can enjoy looking for your favorite item while strolling through the historic streets.
Incidentally, the route from Kami-Arita Station to Arita Station is downhill, so this is the recommended direction to walk.

There are quite a few stalls as well as stores, so the variety of Arita-yaki you will encounter is truly diverse.

Some items are sold for around 100 yen each, so you may find unexpected bargains! How do you use this pottery? When do I use it?
It is exciting to think about these questions while actually holding the vessels in your hands.

When we think of Arita-yaki, porcelain comes to mind, but at the Arita Pottery Fair, we can also see many ceramic works.
New designs of Arita-yaki porcelain are being created all the time.

There are no cabs or buses, so the only way to get off this main street is to walk, no matter how tired you are.
The temperatures will be high, so be sure to hydrate and plan your schedule accordingly.

If you enjoy walking, you can safely expect to spend about 4 hours.

Alitasera (former Ceramic Village Plaza)

Arita Sera is a shopping resort specializing in ceramics and porcelain, located a five-minute drive from Arita Station.

Shuttle buses stop there and parking is available. Stores of 22 Arita porcelain trading companies line the streets, and you can see the works of “KIHARA” and “2016/arita” introduced earlier.

In conjunction with the pottery market, there is also a sale inside Arita Sera! If you are interested in modern design vessels, this is a must-see.

Gokuraku Shopping Street Sarayama Street

A short walk from the main street is the Gokuraku shopping street, and ahead is Sarayama-dori.

This area is a sightseeing spot with many sights to see everywhere.
The streets are lined with many old buildings and have a very elegant atmosphere, so it looks very pleasant to walk around. The indescribably cute and unique things casually found along the way are one of the pleasures of an outing.

There are also galleries converted from old private homes and stores operated by kilns.

Even if you go down one different path, you are likely to find a work of art that is full of character. We hope you will too.

What is Arita Ware?

Arita Ware is porcelain produced in the Arita-cho area of Saga Prefecture.

Porcelain is made by producing porcelain clay from a stone called china stone, shaping it, applying a transparent glaze, and baking it at high temperatures.

Porcelain is used by many people in Japan and around the world because it is “hard, durable, and lightweight.
It is smooth to the touch and has an enchanting translucent white color. It is characterized by its indigo-dyed, reddish-yellow, gold, and other vivid colors painted on it.

View this post on Instagram

@magayuuがシェアした投稿 -

Until the Edo period, Arita-yaki was popularized under the name “Imari-yaki,” but since the Meiji period, it has been known as “Arita-yaki.

Arita-yaki is divided into three major types: “Ko-Imari,” made during the Edo period; “Kakiemon,” characterized by its richly colored paintings; and “Nabeshima,” specially made for the Nabeshima domain as an offering.

Access information for each transportation system


The area around Arita Station is not well served by transportation and there are few trains. It is recommended that you do your research in advance.

The pottery fair grounds are large and pedestrianized, so you cannot rely on cabs or other vehicles just because you are short on time. Please try to keep a reasonable schedule!

Also, during the pottery fair, there are special express trains that run between Arita and Hakata, between Arita and Kumamoto, and between Arita and Nagasaki. Please refer to the past timetable for reference.

Arita Pottery Market Main Train Information

shuttle bus

Free shuttle buses travel around the city. Here are some of the past ones for your reference. There are also some extra buses available.

Citation: Arita Merchants' Association


Quite a few people visit by car in anticipation of buying Utsuwa. Be prepared for crowds!
It takes about 6 minutes by car from Isami Arita on the Nishi Kyushu Expressway to the center of the pottery market, the Arita Tourist Association.


There are several temporary parking lots near the venue that are available for 500 yen per use; the price is the same if you park for the whole day, so you can rest easy if you can secure one.

Citation: Arita Merchants' Association

Free shuttle buses run every 30 minutes from the following three parking lots to the pottery market site. Depending on the day of your visit (first day) or time of day (midday or afternoon), you may want to aim here from the beginning...

*Arita Porcelain Park (Capacity: approx. 2,000 cars)
*Arita Cera (Capacity: approx. 800 cars)
*Fukagawa Porcelain China on the Park (Capacity: approx. 100 cars)

Traffic restrictions may be in place, so please check the official Arita Pottery Fair website. Please see the past ones for reference.

Citation: Arita Merchants' Association

Some visitors also visit the Hasami Pottery Festival and the Arita Pottery Market, both held in Nagasaki Prefecture, and there is a free shuttle bus service connecting the two pottery fairs.

In this case, it is recommended to visit the Hasami Pottery Festival in the morning, as the entire venue is relatively compact, and visit the Arita Pottery Market after noon. The roads in the area become crowded after noon.


Visitors from far away will have to use airplanes. It takes 1.5 hours by limousine cab from Saga Airport, the closest airport to the pottery market, to Arita Station. 


The Arita Pottery Market is the largest pottery market in Japan. We hope you will enjoy your visit, but it is very tiring because of the crowds and a lot of walking. It is best to drink water and take moderate breaks. It would be good if you would keep in mind not to overexert yourself. If you are from the Kanto area, you may not have a chance to visit Kyushu, so why not take this opportunity?

Also, an article on the nearby pottery market, Hasami Pottery Festival, is summarized below. You may want to consider it in conjunction with your trip.

[2024 Hasami Pottery Festival] Complete guide! Basic information and introduction of recommended authors

If you have children and can't make it to the event, or if you have been to the event but couldn't find the pottery you wanted, we are here to help you!

Our store is “Enjoy pottery fairs from the comfort of your own home. Our shop sells and sells the artists we think are the best from pottery fairs and craft fairs all over the country. We are selling works by artists we have selected from pottery fairs and craft fairs across the country.

Please take a look if you like.


(Takezawa, owner of UTSUWABI)