Last additions - Shigaraki 信楽
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Frogs are another auspicious pottery piece. Sotoen Web site: shigarakiyaki.co.jpAug 27, 2012
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Aug 27, 2012
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Large tanuki.Aug 27, 2012
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Pottery everywhere at Sotoen.Aug 27, 2012
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They even can make Shigaraki figurines based your likeness if you give them photos of your face.Aug 27, 2012
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Sotoen gift shop.Aug 27, 2012
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Another person got more creative. We were going to see the result in Sept.Aug 27, 2012
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After maybe 20-30 min., my little bowl.Aug 27, 2012
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Here's our block of Shigaraki clay.Aug 27, 2012
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The instructor showed how to smooth the top edge with a wet cloth.Aug 27, 2012
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First, an instructor demonstrated the basics of pottery making with a block of clay. Easy enough for anyone to make a simple bowl or cup.Aug 27, 2012
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Another highlight of Sotoen was a pottery lesson for beginners. They have a huge pottery classroom.Aug 27, 2012
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Bento lunch at Sotoen.Aug 27, 2012
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A talk about Shigaraki ware at Sotoen.Aug 27, 2012
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A talk about Shigaraki ware at Sotoen.Aug 27, 2012
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Steps along the side of the noborigama kiln.Aug 27, 2012
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The top of the noborigama kiln.Aug 27, 2012
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"Noborigama" kiln explanation in JapaneseAug 27, 2012
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"Noborigama" kiln explanation in Japanese. It takes 40-50 days to fill the kiln, and 7-10 days to fire. 登り窯Aug 27, 2012
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A noborigama chamber. The chambers get larger toward the top of the noborigama kiln. 登り窯Aug 27, 2012
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The heat from the furnace at the bottom chamber rises and seeps into all the chambers. 登り窯Aug 27, 2012
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Sotoen's main attraction is this noborigama or sloping kiln. Japan's oldest noborigama. The bottom chamber is the furnace where they burn wood. 登り窯Aug 27, 2012
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Sotoen's noborigama kiln is 15 meters wide, 30 meters long, and 3.5 meters high. It has eleven chambers going up a slope. 登り窯Aug 27, 2012
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Crayon no Shinchan.Aug 27, 2012
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They also have owls. This one has a camera.Aug 27, 2012
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Smaller tanuki cost a few thousand yen.Aug 27, 2012
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Tanuki for sale at Sotoen, Shigaraki.Aug 27, 2012
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Photo op at Sotoen. They got almost everything you can imagine. The giant tanuki is priced as much as 700,000 yen.Aug 27, 2012
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Overview of the heart of Sotoen.Aug 27, 2012
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Racks and racks of Shigaraki tanuki or racoon dogs.Aug 27, 2012
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Shigaraki has a good number of pottery centers and Sotoen (宗陶苑) is major one. I visited for the first time in Aug. 2012. It covers a large ceramic park-like area.Aug 27, 2012
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Sotoen has a very large number of Shigaraki pottery pieces outside in park-like tract. All for sale. Shigaraki ware is known for its weather-resistance, so they are suited for gardens and outdoor use.Aug 27, 2012
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Miho Museum has several exhibition rooms featuring art from various parts of the world. It also has a restaurant and coffee shop.Sep 30, 2009
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Entrance to Miho Museum which has an excellent collection of art from most parts of the world. Photography is not allowed inside the museum. MAPSep 30, 2009
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Also in Shigaraki is Miho Museum, designed by I.M. Pei, in the middle of the mountains. From Shigaraki Station, it's a 25-min. bus ride. (Or 50 min. by Teisan Bus from JR Ishiyama Station in Otsu.) This nice tunnel leads to the museum.Sep 30, 2009
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A short bus ride takes you to Shigaraki Ceramic Cultural Park, opened in June 1990. Open from 9 am to 5 pm, closed on Mon. (open if a national holiday and closed on Tue.). This is Shigaraki's main attraction and home of Shigaraki-yaki pottery.Jan 09, 2009
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The memorial is a short walk from Shigarakigushi Station.Jan 09, 2009
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Memorial for SafetyJan 09, 2009
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Free shuttle bus to move between the ceramic park, pottery fair, and train station.Jan 09, 2009
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This pottery shop also offers pottery classes.Jan 09, 2009
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Ceramic seatsJan 09, 2009
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More outdoor ceramic art. This is outside the Institute of Ceramic Studies where invited artists in residence create and do research and workshops and lectures are held.Jan 09, 2009
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Vending machine trash bin with tanuki design at Shigarakigushi Station.Jan 09, 2009
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There are stone markers indicating where various buildings were.Jan 09, 2009
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JR trains no longer run to Shigaraki directly.Jan 09, 2009
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Another theory says that this is the ruins of Kokaji temple. 甲賀寺Jan 09, 2009
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Inside a large pottery shop.Jan 09, 2009
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Forty-two people died, and over 600 were injured. The JR West train was packed with people heading to Shigaraki for the World Ceramic Festival. The front cars of the two trains formed an upside-down V.Jan 09, 2009
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Art work on a vending machine.Jan 09, 2009
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At the parking lot is this Tanuki-kan store full of tanuki.Jan 09, 2009
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If you go to Shigaraki by car, you will see large pottery shops along the road catching your eye with giant tanuki and small tanuki armies.Jan 09, 2009
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Inside Tanuki-kan store.Jan 09, 2009
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Stone foundation for a pillar.Jan 09, 2009
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The Shigaraki Kogen Railway between Kibukawa and Shigaraki Stations is a single railway.Jan 09, 2009
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Shigarakigushi Station on the Shigaraki Kogen Railway Line. This is where you get off to see the Shigaraki-no-miya Palace Ruins or the train accident memorial. 紫香楽宮跡駅Jan 09, 2009
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"Noborigama" kilnJan 09, 2009
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Ruins of a gate. Only the stone foundations are left. No original buildings stand.Jan 09, 2009
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Another place to visit in Shigaraki. Jan 09, 2009
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Resembling a pair of praying hands, the train accident memorial is right next to the railway track.Jan 09, 2009
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Kyoto-based Emperor Shomu first built a Detached Palace in Shigaraki in 742. This became the the Shigaraki-no-miya Palace.Jan 09, 2009
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Stone plaque with the names of the 42 fatalities, including five employees of Shiga Kogen (Highland) Railways (SKR).Jan 09, 2009
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Giant tanuki dressed as a Yokozuna grand champion sumo wrestler.Jan 09, 2009
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A warehouse converted into a pottery fair.Jan 09, 2009
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Shigaraki-no-miya Palace ruins. National Historic Site MAPJan 09, 2009
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The accident was due to a train signal mixup and human error.Jan 09, 2009
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The Ceramic Art Market in Shigaraki Ceramic Cultural Park has ceramics artists having their own booth to sell their wares.Jan 09, 2009
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A small shrine stands as a memorial.Jan 09, 2009
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Noborigama sloping kiln 登り窯Jan 09, 2009
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Shigaraki Tanuki mascot walked around the site.Jan 09, 2009
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"Anagama" kiln.Jan 09, 2009
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On the morning of May 14, 1991, a Shigaraki Kogen Railway train bound for Kibukawa collided head on with a special JR West train traveling from Kyoto to Shigaraki.The accident occurred May 14, 1991, when an SKR train collided head-on with a JR West train in Shigaraki, Shiga Prefecture, leaving 42 people, including five SKR employees, dead and 614 injured.Jan 09, 2009
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Greenery at the Shigaraki Ceramic Cultural Park.Jan 09, 2009
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"Noborigama" sloping kiln 登り窯Jan 09, 2009
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When I visited in mid-Oct., the Shigaraki Ceramic Cultural Park was holding the Ceramic Art Market. Notice the tents for the ceramic artists selling their works.Jan 09, 2009
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Side entrances of noborigama kiln. 登り窯Jan 09, 2009
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ConfectionJan 09, 2009
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Inside the kiln. This one was open and empty, but some were closed and you could feel the warmth on the door.Jan 09, 2009
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Shigaraki Ceramic Cultural Park is called Togei no Mori in Japanese. It is operated by Shiga Prefecture. Free admission. 陶芸の森 MAPJan 09, 2009
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"Anagama" kiln diagram and explanation in Japanese and English.Jan 09, 2009
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Pottery kilns require large amounts of wood.Jan 09, 2009
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"Noborigama" kiln explanation in Japanese and English. 登り窯Jan 09, 2009
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Shigaraki Ceramic Cultural Park is in a large park-like area with various pottery facilities such as this Exhibition Hall of Industrial Ceramics. 産業展示館Jan 09, 2009
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Inside the Exhibition Hall of Industrial Ceramics. 産業展示館Jan 09, 2009
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Azaleas would be beautiful in early May.Jan 09, 2009
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At the top of the hill is the Museum of Contemporary Ceramic Art called Togeikan. 陶芸館Jan 09, 2009
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Inside a side entrance of a noborigama kiln. 登り窯Jan 09, 2009
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Koka City Hall, Shigaraki BranchJan 09, 2009
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Shigaraki Ceramic Cultural Park also has pottery kilns. Here's one "Anagama" cave kiln. Jan 09, 2009
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Steps going up the hill at Shigaraki Ceramic Cultural Park. Good exercise.Jan 09, 2009
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This frog will supposedly have your money "returned."Jan 09, 2009
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The tanuki have different faces and doing different things, even karaoke. Didn't see any looking like a photographer though.Jan 09, 2009
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Shigaraki tanuki is said to bear Eight Lucky Omens (八相縁起).Shigaraki tanuki is said to bear Eight Lucky Omens (八相縁起). 1. The hat is protection from unexpected disasters. 2. The smiling face is for affability, 3. The large eyes is for seeing the situation and making correct and considerate decisions, 4. The large belly is for being calm as well as bold, 5. A sake flask in the left hand for innate virtue, 6. An unpaid bill in the left hand symbolizes trust, 7. Large gonads between the legs which is the money bag for prosperity, and 8. A thick tail for reliability and stability no matter what.Jan 09, 2009
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Tanuki faces. This one is probably the most typical in the modern age.Jan 09, 2009
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Lemme outta here...Jan 09, 2009
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BowlsJan 09, 2009
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Frog is "Kaeru" which means to "return." A popular ornament at house entrances (exits) and gardens.Jan 09, 2009
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Bargains to be found.Jan 09, 2009
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Mail boxJan 09, 2009
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VasesJan 09, 2009
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Pottery vendorJan 09, 2009
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Sports tanukiJan 09, 2009
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PigJan 09, 2009
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Prices are quite reasonable. They sell pottery for any type of budget.Jan 09, 2009
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Owls tooJan 09, 2009
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Shigaraki Toki (Pottery) Matsuri bannerJan 09, 2009
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By now, you will notice that the tanuki (racoon dog) is the symbol of Shigaraki. This giant tanuki greets you at Shigaraki Station. Wish they removed that pay phone.Jan 09, 2009
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Shigaraki Station 信楽駅Jan 09, 2009
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A great time to visit Shigaraki is during the Shigaraki Pottery Festival (信楽陶器まつり) and Ceramic Art Market in mid-Oct. Bridge to the Shigaraki Pottery Fair in mid-Oct.Jan 09, 2009
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On the Shigaraki Kogen Railway Line, get off at Shigaraki Station at the end of the line. 信楽駅 MAPJan 09, 2009
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Numerous Shigaraki pottery vendors display and sell their wares. MAPJan 09, 2009
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Shigaraki Kogen Railways Shigaraki Station. You can take a bus to reach Shigaraki Ceramic Cultural Park in 5 min., or walk for 20 min. 信楽駅Jan 09, 2009
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One of Japan's renown and historical centers for pottery, Shigaraki's heart is the Shigaraki Ceramic Cultural Park. To reach Shigaraki by train, first get on the JR Kusatsu Line, get off at Kibukawa Station where you transfer to the Shigaraki KoOne of Japan's renown and historical centers for pottery, Shigaraki's heart is the Shigaraki Ceramic Cultural Park. To reach Shigaraki by train, first get on the JR Kusatsu Line, get off at Kibukawa Station where you transfer to the Shigaraki Kogen Railway Line (photo).Jan 09, 2009
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Along the way, you will see pottery shops with tanuki dolls to catch your attention.Jan 09, 2009
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Welcome to Shigaraki. On special days such as pottery fairs, just follow the crowd from the train station.Jan 09, 2009
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The bridge obviously has ceramic materials.Jan 09, 2009
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Similar to the beckoning cat, the Shigaraki tanuki is a common good luck charm placed at the entrance of homes and shops. Tanuki of all sizes for sale year round.Jan 09, 2009
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If you like the tanuki raccoon dog, this is the place to be.Jan 09, 2009
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This is one of two pottery fair sites during the Shigaraki Pottery Festival.Jan 09, 2009
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