Hakata & The Ceramic City of Arita

We booked the cruise company’s excursion to Arita for our last Japanese port of call.  Unfortunately, we had some rough seas the night before, the ship dropped anchor for a while and we were late arriving at Hakata.  We were informed that our time for the excursions would have to be cut short (they gave us a discount) but we could still go.  Personally, I enjoyed the feel of the waves, and being aware of the ocean.  The seas had calmed considerably when I took these pictures; maybe they’ll inspire a shawl or two:

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Arita is home to some very fine china producers. They have long been known for beautiful white porcelain, with colourful decorations. Its also a very attractive town – this is the approach to the ceramic company we visited:

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I didn’t take my camera indoors, honestly, I wasn’t comfortable with the notion that I might take a picture of a special design, or disturb the workers. We saw potters working on their wheels at the back of a building that had large windows to the front, where artisans sat on cushions on the floor, painting designs on the pottery inspired by flowers or pictures that they kept nearby. Everything was picturesque, look at their front yard:

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Sadly, I just couldn’t bring myself to spend $600 on the teacup & saucer I fell in love with – maybe next time (sigh!) However, I did still treat me to something special. They had some of the gorgeous doeskin bags I’d seen on a previous trip to Japan, and this time I got one:

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We had to hurry away with our purchases pretty quickly….

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….and back out to sea

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