Arita, Imari and Karatsu. Explore the villages of ceramics

Arita ware, the origin of Japanese porcelain

"In Saga Prefecture, located in northwestern Kyushu, the production of ceramics has been ongoing since early times. Colorful Arita ware and earthy Karatsu ware are the roots of Japanese ceramics. Discover the charm of ceramics, search for that perfect bowl, enjoy local delicacies served on traditional plates in peaceful towns… Head to Saga and experience all this and more."


Arita ware, the origin of Japanese porcelain.

The town of Arita, where Arita ware is produced, is situated among mountains about an hour and 20 minutes by JR express train from Hakata Station in Fukuoka City and about 40 minutes from Saga Station. The peaceful streetscape dotted with the chimneys of kilns stretches out before you.

To learn the history of Arita ware, you should pay a visit to the Kyushu Ceramic Museum and the Arita Ceramic Art Museum. It was in the early 17th century when Japan’s first porcelain was made in Arita. Saga at that time was ruled under the Nabeshima domain. A potter invited from the Korean Peninsula discovered rock deposits containing materials for creating porcelain and established a pottery. This was the beginning of Arita ware.

Early Arita ware was mainly blue and white ceramics with a pattern drawn on a white background, but the Kakiemon style which includes colored paintings was established later by a potter named Sakaida Kakiemon. This vibrantly-colored porcelain attracted the attention of Europeans living on Dejima island, Nagasaki, which was the only place in Japan at that time where foreigners were allowed to reside, and it was exported mainly to Europe through the East India Company in around 1650. Porcelain produced in the area surrounding the towns of Arita and Imari were exported from Imari port and therefore both styles were called “IMARI”. Even though the two styles are now distinctly different, with pottery from Arita called Arita ware and pottery from Imari called Imari ware, the term “IMARI” once also included a lot of Arita ware.

An interesting image relating to japan karatsu called Karatsu Castle.


Karatsu Castle

an image of japan%20karatsu Karatsu Castle overlooks the

"Karatsu Castle overlooks the Karatsu Castle overlooks the"

Arita Tour


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Reason 1 : Weaker Yen currency compare to Malaysian Ringgit

Many travelers assume Japan is so expensive as to be out of reach, but times are changing. The new Japanese government’s economic policies are turning the Land of the Rising Sun into the Land of the Falling Yen, and that’s great news for travelers. The U.S. dollar is now worth about 17 percent more against the Japanese yen than it was just six months ago; $1 would have bought you about 80 yen then; today it’s over 93.5 yen.

(Excerpt from : 20 Ways To Visit Japan On The Cheap

reason to visit japan 2013

Reason 2 : It is safe to visit Japan the historic earthquake in Japan on March 11

Despite Japan experiencing an unprecedented natural disaster in March 2011, the majority of Japan, including popular tourist destinations, withstood the natural disaster and rapidly recovered. The U.S. Department of State removed the travel alert to Japan on April 13, 2012, stating that “tourist facilities are widely available, except in coastal areas of Northeast Japan still recovering from the aftermath of the March, 11, 2011 earthquake and tsunami.”

The Current Radiation Level in Japan
Except for the neighboring areas near the nuclear power plants, there is no dangerous level of radiation detected in Japan. Tokyo is NOT within radiation contamination area, as it is located over 200km (124 miles) away from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant facilities. The radiation level in Tokyo is similar to that of New York City.

How is the safety of drinking water and food in Japan?
Products distributed to the public, including food and water, are rigorously inspected and approved by Japanese authorities for contamination safety. The Japanese government has instituted a food product monitoring system from the world’s highest level of standard, screening over 412,000 agricultural products. So far, there are only 2,866 items (0.69%) has exceeding level of radiation, and these items have been already removed from distribution and disposed. The Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare is disclosing results from the current radiation test on food and water here:

Tap Water:

Other food products: (updated daily)

(Excerpt from Japan Travel Advisory – Updated 9 Sept 2013)


Recommended Japan Group Tours

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Winter Illuminations in Japan

winter tour in japanHere is a wonderful way to get rid of the Japanese winter doldrums: go to see some of the many locations that offer breathtaking nighttime illuminations! Most are on display from late autumn until the end of the year, and some through early next year. Many are free and easily accessible by public transportation. There are many beautiful illumination attractions in Japan, and here we've listed some of the most popular. Please check individual websites for details.

In Tokyo, nothing is quite as spectacular as Roppongi Hills' three illumination displays. The blue and white lights all along Keyakizaka Street; the almost 30-foot high Christmas tree at 66 Plaza, and the visually enchanting art illumination at Mori Garden all mustn't be missed. Visitors may see the lights from around early November until Christmas.

Shirakawa-go, a UNESCO world heritage site in Gifu Prefecture known for its characteristically shaped thatched roofs, has a light display from mid-January through mid-February 2013. Spotlights illuminate the snow-covered thatched roofs and snow-clad environs. Visitors arriving by car or taxi will be taken from a designated parking lot by shuttle to the venue.

Sapporo, the capital of Hokkaido, will host its 64th Snow Festival in February 2013. This event attracts about two million people from all over, who come to marvel at finely detailed gleaming white snow and crystal-like ice structures, small and large alike. Lit at night, they create a mesmerizing winter fairyland.

In Kyoto, two separate light and flower walkway festivals, called Hanatouro, will illuminate the Arashiyama district (December 2012) and theHigashiyama district (March 2013). Both of these festivals use traditionally designed and hand-sculpted open air lanterns which light up walkways through temples, parks, along bridges and some urban areas, inviting visitors to explore the beauty of the area at night. Specially designed flower arrangements will also be on view.

Nabana no Sato, near Nagashima Onsen Resort in Mie Prefecture, is a theme park known for its flora, but also for its four month long illumination spectacular that runs from mid-November to mid-March. There are several different displays, including a light tunnel and a lit-up flower display.

The Kobe Luminairie in Kobe city, Hyogo Prefecture started in 1995 to commemorate the devastating Great Hanshin-Awaji Earthquake, and is the original illumination attraction in Japan. For about two weeks in December, beautiful hand-painted small lights and LEDs donated by the Italian government are lit – a memorial to those who suffered, and a celebration of Kobe's recovery.

Another favorite is the Renaissance of Light in Osaka. For several weeks in December, there are celebrations of holiday cheer that include a stunning illumination tapestry projected onto the wall of Osaka Prefectural Nakanoshima Library accompanied by a musical performance. There are also illuminated boats providing river cruises for romantic evenings!

No matter where you are in Japan, there are many beautiful nighttime illuminations for you to enjoy, and to warm your heart during the cold, dark winter evenings!

(Article source : News – Winter Illuminations in Japan – Official Tourism Guide for Japan Travel)


Winter Tour In Japan News

By popular demand, we are again operating day tours from Niseko over the 2012/13 Winter Season. Take a break from the ski slopes and immerse yourself in Japanese culture.The following tours are available starting …More at Winter Day Tours from Niseko | Skybus Travel

Beat the Qantas airfare rise for your Japan ski holiday. If you are considering a Niseko snow adventure this winter be aware Qantas has announced it is increasing its fares to Tokyo and through to Sapporo, the gateway to the …More at Beat the Qantas airfare rise for your Japan ski holiday – Travel TROLL



Japanese Nail Art Designs

Welcome to our feature story on intricate Japanese nail art. We discuss what sort of nail art is popular here in Tokyo, Japan’s fashion capital, and what the most popular nail shops are. (Top photo: La Couronne)

Mihori Kinoshita

Mihori Kinoshita is the director of the Yumi Kinoshita Make-up & Nail Atelier, president of the La Couronne nail salon, and Japan’s premier nail artist. In addition to activities with the media, she holds collaborations such as “MIHORI with Rika-chan” and pioneers “cute culture” for women.

Japanese nail art, blending sophisticated artistry and cuteness!
We talk with Mihori Kinoshita, a nail artist expert in everything from beauty history to the latest in global affairs. We ask Ms. Kinoshita what the characteristics of Japanese nails are.

“Nail salons began to permeate throughout Japan in the late 1980s. Nail polish was invented in 1932, and nail salons didn’t begin booming in America until the 1970s, so it certainly wasn’t off to a quick start. However, Japanese craftsmanship and manual dexterity quickly brought nail art to unsurpassed levels. As we entered the new millennium, Japan’s “cute culture” is drawing worldwide attention and creating further awareness.

Features of Japanese nails include a full array of detailed nail care, and the use of mostly soft gel. Japanese nails often use designs with big bijoux and finely-wrought artwork.”

Try some decorative and sophisticated nail artwork yourself on your next visit to Japan!

What nail styles are hot this summer?
Japanese nail art is world-renowned. So, what’s in-style right now? We introduce the latest art from La Couronne, a nail salon headed by Ms. Kinoshita. La Couronne also features a complete selection of nail services. If you’re interested in high quality Japanese nail care, be sure to stop by.

Japanese nail art


(Source : Japanese style and technique, number one in the world!? Unique and decora nails | Japan Hot Now!)