An art-themed park inside a pottery town
The city of Kasama within Ibaraki Prefecture has many artistic spots due to the large number of potters living in the area. Kasama Art Forest which is located in the city is a park designed so that you can witness such art at a close distance. Eastern Japan’s first prefectural museum specializing in pottery within the park, Ibaraki Ceramic Art Museum, has the works of all of the potters in Japan including those of Living National Treasures. At Kasama Craft Hills, even beginners can try their hand at pottery through hand-shaping and the potter’s wheel.
A place to get close to art for kids and grownups
There is the Asobi-no-Mori (Play Forest) which is a hit with children. Many of the playground equipment are a part of the Tenku-no-Toride (Sky Fortress) facility, and from the symbolic Hikari-no-Tou (Tower of Light), an 83m-long roller slide extends out. In the Tou-no-Mori (Pottery Forest), works by 29 famous potters are on display within a 3.9ha cypress forest. The trail and the benches are all examples of pottery, and the area is an unusual one where the porcelain musical instruments playing music and various objets d’art melt into nature.
The largest pottery festival in Ibaraki, Himatsuri
Held annually during the Golden Week holidays between April 29th and May 5th, the Himatsuri features 200 people setting up shop ranging from venerated potters to up-and-coming artists in the field. The exhibitors provide many elaborate wares in their made-up shops where you can enjoy the products as well as the mood. Another famous feature of the festival is the food and drink also grandly provided by the ceramic artists. The Himatsuri is the prefecture’s largest event with more than 500,000 visitors.