A Two-Day Trip to Kasama: Enjoy Pottery and Local Culture

Those interested in pottery and art should visit Kasama City, known for its unique pottery culture, and the Kasama Himatsuri Pottery Festival. Kasama-yaki (pottery) has a long history and is designated as a Japan Heritage. In the following, we will introduce a 2-day/1-night model course that allows you to fully enjoy the local pottery culture as well as attractive local restaurants and eateries, the Kasama Inari Shrine—one of the three major Inari shrines in Japan—museums and parks. A rental bicycle will be used on the first day, with walking and a taxi ride on the second day.

1 night, 2 days

Day 1

station

Tokyo Station

train(Train) 1 hour and 10 minutes
station

Tomobe Station

train(Train) 10 minutes
station

Kasama Station

train(On foot) Immediate
Kasama Ekimae Tourist Information Center, Rental Cycle

Kasama Ekimae Tourist Information Center, Rental Cycle

The center, located near Kasama Station, provides guidance to visitors while operating as a rental bicycle station.

A bicycle is an ideal transportation method for exploring Kasama, and the center offers reasonable options. The rental fee for an electric bicycle is 300 yen for the first hour. Afterward, 100 yen will be added every 30 minutes. The maximum fee is 1,500 yen per day.

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train(Bicycle) About 10 minutes
Crafthills Kasama

Crafthills Kasama

Kasama City is famous for its thriving pottery tradition throughout Japan. Crafthills Kasama is the ideal place to learn more about the city's pottery, see works by famed local potters, shop for souvenirs, and even try making your own Kasama-style pottery!
The facility is set in an expansive park and houses galleries exhibiting works by well-known local artists. There's also a cafe, coffee shop, souvenir shop, and pottery studios.
The Ibaraki Ceramic Art Museum is located next door to Crafthills Kasama. Likewise, the surrounding park contains several unique and playful outdoor sculptures.
The cafe, hands-on pottery experiences, and affordable souvenirs make Crafthills Kasama an accessible introduction to the world of Japanese pottery. It has plenty of attractions to offer families, casual visitors, and pottery enthusiasts.

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train(Bicycle) Strolling around Craft Hills Kasama
Ibaraki Ceramic Art Museum

Ibaraki Ceramic Art Museum

This museum was the first in eastern Japan that focused solely on the ceramic arts. Permanent exhibits include works by master Japanese ceramists such as Hazan Itaya and Kosei Matsui. The museum also hosts a wide range of unique exhibitions from around the world.

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train(Bicycle) About 10 minutes
Kamameshi Harada

Kamameshi Harada

Harada is a restaurant serving kamameshi, made with fresh high-quality Ibaraki ingredients.

This Japanese dish features rice, broth, and other ingredients cooked and served in a pot for one person. Harada uses Ibaraki rice, known for its quality, and the original broth to create a flavorful meal.

The restaurant serves other dishes as well, such as seafood and tempura. Meals, beautifully presented in a Japanese style, are served using Kasama-yaki pottery, a traditional craft of Ibaraki, recognized as a Japan Heritage.

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train(Bicycle) 3 minutes
Gallery Road

Gallery Road

Gallery Road is a place where you can feel a deep connection between Kasama and artistic crafts.

Shops handling Kasama-yaki recognized as a Japan Heritage, are lined up along Gallery Road, which stretches for about 2 kilometers. There are galleries like Kouzangama and Gallery Mon and pottery shops such as Kilala-kan and Space Nico. There is also a gallery featuring beautiful glass art, a retro jazz café designed in the Showa Period style, a bakery, and other charming dining establishments.

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train(Bicycle) Strolling
Yakimono Dori (Pottery Street)/To no Komichi (Pottery Lane)

Yakimono Dori (Pottery Street)/To no Komichi (Pottery Lane)

Long-established pottery studios and large-sized wholesale stores are lined up at Kasama Yakimono Dori, a street along National Route 355. The numerous facilities include Katsura Tougei, which specializes in handling Kasama-yaki, a Japan Heritage, and Hisa Toukoubou, where visitors can participate in a pottery workshop.

To no Komichi is also a pottery street. It starts from the eastern side of Kasama Yakimono-dori and runs parallel to another craft street, Gallery Road. There are about ten stores directly managed by pottery studios, where visitors can meet the potters directly.

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train(Bicycle) 3 minutes
Kasama Ekimae Tourist Information Center, Rental Cycle

Kasama Ekimae Tourist Information Center, Rental Cycle

The center, located near Kasama Station, provides guidance to visitors while operating as a rental bicycle station.

A bicycle is an ideal transportation method for exploring Kasama, and the center offers reasonable options. The rental fee for an electric bicycle is 300 yen for the first hour. Afterward, 100 yen will be added every 30 minutes. The maximum fee is 1,500 yen per day.

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train(Taxi) 5 minutes
Kappo Ryokan Shiroyama

Kappo Ryokan Shiroyama

Shiroyama, conveniently located near tourist attractions, is a kappo ryokan* renovated from a historic Japanese restaurant. The inn offers a traditional Japanese-style accommodation experience focused on hospitality.

There are eight guest rooms, with six of them decorated in a style inspired by Kyoto culture. All rooms are equipped with private baths and toilets. Free WiFi is also available.
Guests can enjoy exquisite kaiseki cuisine in private dining rooms. There is also a large public bath in the ryokan, overlooking the Japanese garden and filled with fragrant rose petals.

*Kappo ryokan is a Japanese-style inn that serves kappo cuisine, a traditional style of high-class meals.

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Day 2

stay

Kappo Ryokan Shiroyama

train(Taxi) 5 minutes
Kasama Azalea Park

Kasama Azalea Park

Various types of azalea, totaling around 8,500, are planted in this park, which measures 7 hectares and is located on a hill. The best time to visit is from mid-April to early May when the hill is colored in vivid red and pink hues.

The top of the hill with food stalls and observation deck offers spectacular views of the cityscape.

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train(On foot) 9 minutes
Kasama Nichido Museum of Art

Kasama Nichido Museum of Art

While Kasama is known for its ceramics, a few museums in the city exhibit paintings and sculptures. Kasama Nichido Museum of Art opened in 1972 and is one of the foremost institutes.

The Museum was created to provide all people access to inspiring works of art. The collection comprises works by Japanese artists and works by the Impressionists, who influenced the Japanese art. Visitors will be greeted with drawings of renowned artists such as Renoir, Monet, van Gogh, and Degas. There is also a rare exhibition of palettes used by well-known artists, which has been critically acclaimed. There are also sculptures installed in the attractive garden.

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train(On foot) 7 minutes
Tanukian Tsutaya

Tanukian Tsutaya

Tanukian Tsutaya, located by the approach to Kasama Inari Shrine, was established in 1876. The restaurant, frequented by locals and tourists, uses Hitachi Akisoba, an Ibaraki buckwheat brand, in making their homemade noodles.

One fo the recommended options is Tsutaya no Soba Inari*. This dish, created by the third-generation owner, has become a local specialty.

There are 88 seats in the spacious interior, which has an elegant ambiance and a sense of history. Monzen soba, buckwheat noodle ground with a stone mill in the shop, makes the perfect souvenir. Those visiting Kasama Inari Shrine should not miss Tsutaya.

*Soba inari is short for soba inarizushi. While inarizushi is an abura-age (deep-fried tofu) stuffed with rice, soba inari is stuffed with soba (buckwheat noodle).

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train(On foot) Immediate
Kasama Inari Shrine

Kasama Inari Shrine

First established in 651, Kasama Inari Shrine is one of Japan's famous Inari shrines, attracting around 3.5 million pilgrims and visitors annually. The sacred site enshrines Ukanomitama-no-Mikoto, known to answer prayers for success in business and protection from fires. The shrine grounds are stunning in the late spring when the wisteria flower bloom. Another beautiful time to visit is during the chrysanthemum festival in autumn.
The streets leading up to the shrine are filled with various shops to explore, from traditional soba restaurants to fashionable cafes and renovated sake breweries. Specialties of the area include Kasama Inari Sushi, rice with walnuts, and other seasonal products wrapped in deep-fried tofu and roasted chestnuts. Kasama City is known for its pottery, and there are plenty of galleries in the area to pick up a souvenir before heading home.

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train(On foot) Immediate
Kasama Inari Art Museum

Kasama Inari Art Museum

This museum is the place to learn about the rich history of Japanese pottery.

Located on the grounds of Kasama Inari Shrine, the museum displays six styles of ancient pottery in the permanent exhibition.

Their collection consists of works from the Heian, Kamakura, and Muromachi periods, spanning over 1,000 years old. Elaborate hanging scrolls and folding screens with drawings depicting scenes of Japanese landscapes and seasonal motifs are also displayed in special exhibitions.

Visitors can gain valuable knowledge about the history and development of Japanese ceramics at this museum.

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train(Taxi) About 15 minutes
Sudo Honke Brewery

Sudo Honke Brewery

With a history spanning 870 years, Sudo Honke Brewery prides itself on using premium quality rice for its junmai daiginjo blend—the highest grade of sake. All of the rice used is grown locally in Kasama City. Sudo Honke sake is dry with a well-rounded, deep flavor profile.

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train(Taxi) About 5 minutes
station

Tomobe Station

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