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Kyoto Ceramic Center - Handmade in Kyoto

Logo of the Kyoto Ceramic Center

The Kyoto Ceramic Center, established in 1936, is the official gallery and shop of the Kyoto Ceramic Art Association. It showcases exclusively kyo-yaki, ceramics handmade in Kyoto.

About Kyo-yaki (Kyoto Ware)

The term kyo-yaki (Kyoto ware) refers to all kinds of ceramics that are produced in Kyoto. It can be traced back to the early 17th century, then possibly referring to a piece of Raku-ware. The first kilns of Kyoto were established in Awataguchi (today's Gojozaka) in 1624 and in Omura (near Ninna-ji Temple) in 1647. Some 60 years later, there were 16 climbing kilns, centered around Awataguchi, Kiyomizu and Otowa, small neighborhoods which were later combined and renamed Gojozaka.

In the Meiji period, when domestic interest dwindled, Kyoto's potters turned to the West, and many of their works can still be found in foreign collections. At that time, the title of "Imperial Household Artist" was created to support the continuation of traditional arts and crafts. Out of the five so distinguished potters, four were from Kyoto, signifying the importance of the city and of its ceramic industry.

Famous artists working in Kyoto's kilns over the centuries include Ogata Kenzan (166 - 1743) and his brother Korin (1658 - 1716), Kiyomizu Rokubei (1738 - 1799), Eiraku Hozen (1795 - 1854), Taizan Yohei IX (1856 - 1922) and Kawai Kanjiro (1890 - 1966), to name just a few. Today, Awata ware and Kiyomizu ware are the best known ceramics under the kyo-yaki umbrella.

An example of kiyomizu-yaki.

More Information

The Kyoto Ceramic Center online: Website (in Japanese and English), Facebook and instagram (in Japanese)

Address: 583-1 Yugyomaecho, Higashiyama-ku, 605-0864 Kyoto (Google Maps)

Directions: take Kyoto City Bus 58, 86, 202, 206, 207 to Gojozaka

Opening hours: 10:00 - 18:00; gallery is closed on Thursdays (except national holidays)

Photography: no

Wheelchair accessible: yes

Parking: paid parking available nearby; customers receive a voucher

Entrance to the Kyoto Ceramic Center.

Photo # 1, 3 courtesy of the Kyoto Ceramic Center.