Kiyomizuyaki Pottery Complex

Kyoto’s pottery neighborhood, known as the Gojo district, has been a hub of ceramic production for centuries. The artisans in this area have been creating Kiyomizu ware, some of the finest stoneware in Kyoto. The history and craftsmanship behind Kiyomizu ware make it a sought-after item for collectors and enthusiasts alike.

Kiyomizu ware is often mistaken for porcelain due to its fine appearance. However, it is actually a type of stoneware that is known for its vibrant colors and translucent glaze. The glaze contains a high percentage of glass and is fired at a low temperature, which gives the pigments in the glass a nearly transparent effect. This unique characteristic adds to the beauty and allure of Kiyomizu ware.

Historically, Kiyomizu ware was made by unnamed artisans and primarily created for export. In contrast, the 17th-century Kyo-yaki pottery was signed by artisans and produced for domestic use. The distinction between the two types of pottery reflects the different purposes and markets they served.

The Kiyomizuyaki Pottery Complex was established in 1962 to preserve and promote the art of Kiyomizu ware. While the potters’ kilns no longer burn in this complex, many shops and companies related to Kiyomizu ware remain. The complex is home to nearly 70 shops where visitors can explore and purchase a wide variety of Kiyomizu ware.

The origins of Kiyomizu ware can be traced back to the base of Kiyomizu-dera temple, where it was first created four hundred years ago. Over time, the term “Kiyomizu ware” has come to encompass all pottery made in Kyoto. The association with the tea ceremony played a significant role in the popularity and recognition of Kiyomizu ware. As the tea ceremony gained prominence in the 16th century, local artisans began producing the tools and cups used in this ritual. Tea ceremony masters, noblemen, and Buddhist monks started serving tea in Kiyomizu ware, making it highly sought after.

The craftsmanship and artistry of Kiyomizu ware are evident in its meticulous details and sophisticated designs. Modern-day artisans continue to hand-paint individual pieces with ornate patterns, following the traditional techniques. The demand for these hand-painted pieces remains high, making them a challenge to find.

Visiting the Kiyomizuyaki Pottery Complex offers a unique opportunity to explore and appreciate Kiyomizu ware. The complex houses numerous shops where visitors can browse through a wide selection of pottery. In addition to shopping, visitors can also visit workshops and learn about the production process of Kiyomizu ware. For those seeking a more immersive experience, pottery classes are available, allowing participants to try their hand at pottery throwing.

One of the highlights for pottery enthusiasts is the Kiyomizuyaki Pottery Festival, held on the third Friday, Saturday, and Sunday of October each year. This festival is a must-see for those with a limited time in Kyoto and a desire to purchase pottery. The festival offers steep discounts on ceramics, making it an excellent opportunity to find bargains. In addition to shopping, visitors can watch pottery demonstrations and indulge in local delicacies. Extra buses run from Kyoto Station to the festival to accommodate the influx of visitors.

In conclusion, Kyoto’s pottery neighborhood in the Gojo district is home to the renowned Kiyomizu ware. The fine craftsmanship, vibrant colors, and translucent glaze of Kiyomizu ware make it a highly coveted item. The Kiyomizuyaki Pottery Complex provides a platform for artisans to showcase and sell their creations, preserving the art of Kiyomizu ware. Visitors to the complex can explore a wide range of pottery and even participate in workshops or pottery classes. The annual Kiyomizuyaki Pottery Festival is a must-see event for pottery enthusiasts, offering discounted ceramics and a chance to experience the rich culture of Kyoto’s pottery tradition.

Address And Maps Location:

10-2 Kawata Kiyomizuyaki Danchi-cho, Yamashina-ku, Kyoto-shi, Kyoto-fu

Find Location And Direction On Google Maps

Subscribe, follow