Visit Kobei-Gama—the most acclaimed pottery studio
Learn about the history of Mino
Paint pottery in a traditional working pottery studio
Watch a skilled artisan remove fired items
Relish a kaiseki multi-course meal as part of the luxury
About this activity
What's included, what's not
Dinner for option “Kobei-Gama Luxury Experience with Kaiseki Meal”
a ceramic item (a tea bowl) for option “Kobei-Gama Tour and Pottery Painting”
What you can expect
Michelin Green Guide Japan gives Kato Kobei Studio in Tajimi City, Gifu Prefecture two stars (Recommended). This venerable pottery offers rare items of art and hands-on activities; several times a year, the studio offers a unique luxury experience.
Kobei-Gama studio occupies a splendid house that dates from the Edo period (1603 – 1868). This studio showcases many items created by seven generations of artisans. Pieces created by Takuo Kato are particularly noteworthy. The current master's father and a true master of ceramic art, Takuo Kato's works were famously inspired by Persian art.
In the standard activity offered daily, you'll take a guided tour of Kobei-Gama and learn about the various types of ceramics developed here. Next, you will sit among artisans and paint pottery as you experience the workspace first hand. Upon completion, the studio will ship your item to your home country address within about a month.
A few days a year, Kobei-Gama offers a unique luxury experience. On these days, Kobei-Gama artisans use the studio's anagama kiln (a kiln first brought to Japan from China via Korea in the fifth century) to fire the master's art pieces.
This experience is a rare opportunity to see first-hand how artisans remove pieces from the kiln for cooling. Watch as the colours change while items cool producing a unique crackling sound. Finally, relish a delicious Japanese kaiseki multi-course dinner. Dine in a traditional tatami room with Japanese garden view.
Tajimi City is a major production centre for Mino ware ceramics, and Kobei-Gama is the most acclaimed pottery studio in the city. Initially established in 1804, Kobei-Gama's seventh-generation master and his son currently run the pottery studio. The sixth generation master, Takuo Kato, was officially designated as a Living National Treasure.
During the Edo period, Kobei-Gama supplied Edo Castle with the most beautiful tableware. The Kobei-Gama Museum consisting of several traditional-style buildings. Inside, you can see the works of art by several generations of Kobei-Gama masters, including interpretations of Persian blue pottery, Chinese-style pottery, and distinctive Mino ware.
Kobei-Gama is now collaborating with international brands, including the famous design studio Atelier Oï based in La Neuveville, Switzerland. Kobei-Gamama exhibited ceramic ware at the 2018 Milan Furniture Fair.