From the end of April to early May every year, Japan has a series of national holidays called “Golden Week.” Some people can take three to four consecutive days off by combining national holidays with a weekend, while some companies allow their employees six or more consecutive days off. Many people in Japan look forward to spending their Golden Week in their favorite ways, such as traveling abroad or in Japan, and visiting unique events held in various places. A famous Golden Week event in Saga is the Arita Tokiichi (Ceramics Fair), which attracts about one million visitors every year. In 2018, the 115th Arita Tokiichi will take place during the seven-day period from April 29 (Mon) to May 5 (Sat). During the fair period every year, Sarayama Street, which is lined with pottery workshops, ceramics stores, etc. serves as the vehicle-free main fair venue. You can enjoy carefully checking and buying products showcased in the ceramics stores on both sides of the street.
A tip for successful purchasing at the Arita Tokiichi is to carry a bag that leaves your hands free. That is because, in order to check ceramics by your own eye and select the best from those displayed in the stores along the street, you had better take hold of them to check their tactile qualities, and for that purpose you need to leave your hands free. Some thoroughly-prepared repeat visitors to the Arita Tokiichi wear a work glove on one hand, to wipe dust off the ceramics with the glove if necessary, while they are shopping. A recommended style is to carry a backpack, with work gloves on your hands, and to wear sneakers, which help you to walk for a long time.
In the Arita Tokiichi venues, not only a large number of ceramics are sold, but also many restaurants set up booths to serve specialty foods to visitors, so you can enjoy eating in the venue if you become hungry. Obtaining information from the Arita Tokiichi website or pamphlet is recommended in order to enjoy the fair to the fullest.
During the Arita Tokiichi period, shuttle bus services are operated to China on the Park, a theme park run by Fukagawa Seiji, an internationally renowned porcelain maker and a purveyor to the Imperial Household.
April 29 (Sun) to May 5 (Sat), 2018
8:00-18:00 (Hours depend on the store.)
Venues: Sarayama Street between JR Arita Station and JR Kami-Arita Station, the surrounding area, and China on the Park
Transportation: Shuttle bus services are operated over the Arita Tokiichi venues during the fair period.
If you can extend your journey…
After you have enjoyed the Arita Tokiichi, it is also recommended that you visit other places in Arita Town for the rich natural environment or experiences, to explore its other aspects. If you have some extra time, why not take a stroll around Arita Town?
Zwinger Palace, the symbol of Arita Porcelain Park
Take-no-Tanada (terraced paddy fields) has been selected as one of Japan’s 100 most beautiful spots with terraced rice fields. Offering a peaceful and beautiful view of farmlands from 400 m above sea level, this spot is photogenic enough to be highly popular on Instagram.