Most viewed - Shigaraki 信楽
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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 Ko463 viewsOne 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).
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Art work on a vending machine.272 views
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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.240 views
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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.225 views
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The memorial is a short walk from Shigarakigushi Station.202 views
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Memorial for Safety194 views
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Along the way, you will see pottery shops with tanuki dolls to catch your attention.175 views
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Shigaraki Station 信楽駅144 views
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"Anagama" kiln diagram and explanation in Japanese and English.134 views
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Noborigama sloping kiln 登り窯127 views
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"Anagama" kiln.121 views
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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120 views
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On the Shigaraki Kogen Railway Line, get off at Shigaraki Station at the end of the line. 信楽駅 MAP118 views
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"Noborigama" sloping kiln 登り窯114 views
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If you like the tanuki raccoon dog, this is the place to be.112 views
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Bowls105 views
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Numerous Shigaraki pottery vendors display and sell their wares. MAP97 views
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Prices are quite reasonable. They sell pottery for any type of budget.96 views
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The tanuki have different faces and doing different things, even karaoke. Didn't see any looking like a photographer though.93 views
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Shigaraki Toki (Pottery) Matsuri banner91 views
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Side entrances of noborigama kiln. 登り窯90 views
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Pottery vendor89 views
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Vases89 views
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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.89 views
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Bargains to be found.88 views
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Shigaraki tanuki is said to bear Eight Lucky Omens (八相縁起).88 viewsShigaraki 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.
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JR trains no longer run to Shigaraki directly.88 views
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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.87 views
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"Noborigama" kiln85 views
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Resembling a pair of praying hands, the train accident memorial is right next to the railway track.84 views
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Welcome to Shigaraki. On special days such as pottery fairs, just follow the crowd from the train station.83 views
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"Noborigama" kiln explanation in Japanese and English. 登り窯83 views
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Inside a large pottery shop.83 views
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Inside Tanuki-kan store.82 views
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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.80 views
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Tanuki faces. This one is probably the most typical in the modern age.79 views
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Pottery kilns require large amounts of wood.79 views
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The bridge obviously has ceramic materials.78 views
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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78 views
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Stone plaque with the names of the 42 fatalities, including five employees of Shiga Kogen (Highland) Railways (SKR).77 views
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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.77 views
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Ceramic seats77 views
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This is one of two pottery fair sites during the Shigaraki Pottery Festival.75 views
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The Ceramic Art Market in Shigaraki Ceramic Cultural Park has ceramics artists having their own booth to sell their wares.72 views
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Shigaraki Ceramic Cultural Park also has pottery kilns. Here's one "Anagama" cave kiln. 71 views
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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 MAP70 views
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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.70 views
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Inside a side entrance of a noborigama kiln. 登り窯68 views
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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68 views
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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.68 views
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Owls too66 views
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Sports tanuki66 views
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Shigaraki Tanuki mascot walked around the site.66 views
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At the parking lot is this Tanuki-kan store full of tanuki.65 views
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At the top of the hill is the Museum of Contemporary Ceramic Art called Togeikan. 陶芸館63 views
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Giant tanuki dressed as a Yokozuna grand champion sumo wrestler.63 views
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Lemme outta here...60 views
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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.60 views
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A warehouse converted into a pottery fair.59 views
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Confection58 views
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Inside the Exhibition Hall of Industrial Ceramics. 産業展示館57 views
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Koka City Hall, Shigaraki Branch56 views
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Free shuttle bus to move between the ceramic park, pottery fair, and train station.56 views
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Steps going up the hill at Shigaraki Ceramic Cultural Park. Good exercise.55 views
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Shigaraki-no-miya Palace ruins. National Historic Site MAP55 views
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This pottery shop also offers pottery classes.55 views
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Frog is "Kaeru" which means to "return." A popular ornament at house entrances (exits) and gardens.54 views
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Greenery at the Shigaraki Ceramic Cultural Park.54 views
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Vending machine trash bin with tanuki design at Shigarakigushi Station.53 views
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This frog will supposedly have your money "returned."51 views
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Another theory says that this is the ruins of Kokaji temple. 甲賀寺51 views
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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.51 views
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Mail box50 views
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Azaleas would be beautiful in early May.50 views
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Racks and racks of Shigaraki tanuki or racoon dogs.50 views
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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. MAP49 views
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A small shrine stands as a memorial.48 views
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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.46 views
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Another place to visit in Shigaraki. 46 views
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Ruins of a gate. Only the stone foundations are left. No original buildings stand.45 views
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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.45 views
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Pig43 views
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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.43 views
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Steps along the side of the noborigama kiln.43 views
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A talk about Shigaraki ware at Sotoen.42 views
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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.41 viewsThe 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.
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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.41 views
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The Shigaraki Kogen Railway between Kibukawa and Shigaraki Stations is a single railway.40 views
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Stone foundation for a pillar.40 views
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They also have owls. This one has a camera.40 views
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A talk about Shigaraki ware at Sotoen.39 views
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Another person got more creative. We were going to see the result in Sept.39 views
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The accident was due to a train signal mixup and human error.38 views
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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38 views
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A noborigama chamber. The chambers get larger toward the top of the noborigama kiln. 登り窯38 views
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Another highlight of Sotoen was a pottery lesson for beginners. They have a huge pottery classroom.38 views
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There are stone markers indicating where various buildings were.37 views
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Tanuki for sale at Sotoen, Shigaraki.37 views
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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37 views
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"Noborigama" kiln explanation in Japanese37 views
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Here's our block of Shigaraki clay.37 views
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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.36 views
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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.36 views
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Pottery everywhere at Sotoen.36 views
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The top of the noborigama kiln.35 views
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The instructor showed how to smooth the top edge with a wet cloth.35 views
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Smaller tanuki cost a few thousand yen.34 views
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Overview of the heart of Sotoen.33 views
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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33 views
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Bento lunch at Sotoen.33 views
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After maybe 20-30 min., my little bowl.33 views
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Sotoen gift shop.33 views
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They even can make Shigaraki figurines based your likeness if you give them photos of your face.33 views
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Large tanuki.33 views
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The heat from the furnace at the bottom chamber rises and seeps into all the chambers. 登り窯32 views
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Frogs are another auspicious pottery piece. Sotoen Web site: shigarakiyaki.co.jp30 views
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Crayon no Shinchan.29 views
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