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“Beyond expectations. Two in one: charming mountain Kyushu village and first class pottery making and trading spot.”
Review of Imari Okawachiyama

Imari Okawachiyama
Ranked #1 of 30 things to do in Imari
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed March 16, 2013

A great way to spend my day. I concur with the previous review ( Ann Arbor, Michigan), about practical information, so I will not repeat it. A 20 minutes bus ride from Imari Station. You can enquire at the Tourist Information desk located right at the bus station. This is very easy and convenient, plus there is nice scenery to be seen during the bus ride. This is deep countryside Kyushu.
I went by a glorious spring day, with the plum trees in bloom, as well as many other types of flowers on display. People from Okawachiyama are strong on gardening and potted flowers on their balconies. Walking on the streets is very pleasant.
I did not know I was interested in pottery, but today one would’ve thought I was. I purchased many items, including a 40 pieces set that they agreed to ship to Canada.
A lot of high quality stuff. Moreover, there are products for all levels of purchasing capacity, from 5$ to 1000 $ apiece. They have merchandise for everyday use, special occasions, decorative, as well as art works. The latter includes dolls and high end large flower vases.
Merchandise is also of varied style, from modern to very formal and classical.
On the other end, I would say that even if someone could really not be made interested in pottery on site, the village is a sight in itself.
It is on the flank of a mountain, with many rivers and shrines around. It is kept very clean and picturesque.
Almost at the top of one of the streets, I stopped at a small café. They serve non-alcoholic drinks and homemade light meals. The view on an orchard of blooming plum trees was unreal. Dramatic mountains lay at the back scene, with traditional houses.
I felt fulfilled by the knowledge that I was experiencing a nice mountain village in Kyushu, a rare occurrence for me. This is a good as an alpine village in Switzerland or any other remote but priceless gem of a people’s heritage.
At the end of the day, my deep feeling is that even if nothing happens for the next 2 or 3 days, in this trip, it would be OK, because today, I could not ask for more.

6  Thank 88puffin
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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12 - 16 of 91 reviews

Reviewed February 19, 2012

If you like Imari porcelain, you will be interested in this place - Okawachiyama village. It's a beautiful, picturesque village in Saga Prefecture, Kyushu, southern Japan. Imari porcelain was born in this village about 400 years ago.

A lot of Imari porcelain products were exported to Europe from the adjacent Imari Port in 17th-19th centuries. Imari was very popular among the European aristocrats. They decorated the rooms of their mansions with Imari porcelain. Still now Imari attracts many people in the world, including me. I love Imari, and my late mother loved Imari.

Okawachiyama village is not a big tourist site. There are no hotels in the village and there is just one restaurant in there. But there are 30 kilns in the village and they have various festivals throughout the year.

The biggest and the most famous one is probably the annual spring sale by the kilns in early April.
You can buy Imari products directly from the kilns at a good discount. I myself have not been to spring sale yet, but I hear you can buy good products for very good prices. Some Imari enthusiasts take backpacks to do serious shopping. Actually you don't have to go there during the spring sale. Whenever you go there, you can buy nice stuff directly from the kilns for very good prices.

Since there is no hotel in the village, I recommend you stay in a hotel in Imari City which is about 15 minutes bus ride from the village. It's an easy round trip between Okawachiyama village and Imari City. There are several very reasonably-priced hotels in Imari City; some of them are within walking distance from JR Imari train station.
There are also a few galleries and a museum in Imari City that display old historical Imari porcelain.

Okawachiyama village is on the steep slope of the mountain, so it may be a bit physically strenuous for some people to walk around. But even with just a little walk, I am sure you will enjoy the exotic scenery. There is also the very unusual-looking ceramic bridge not far from the bus stop. There is the restaurant (the only restaurant in the village) right behind the bus stop. This restaurant serves everything in beautiful Imari dishes, bowls, and cups.

If you want to see more photos and read more about Okawachiyama village, please visit http://kyushujapan.com/2010/12/31/imari-kiln-village-kyushu-japan-where-imari-porcelain-came-from(佐賀-大川内山-伊万里焼の里/

13  Thank tukusigal
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Reviewed September 8, 2017
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1  Thank hifu2014
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Reviewed September 7, 2017
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Thank Fanmakimaki
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed September 7, 2017 via mobile
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1  Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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