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Koraku Kiln – Stay at an Arita Pottery Kiln and Create Your Own Masterpiece

There are many places in Arita where you can try your hand at pottery making. With a piece of clay, a potter’s wheel, paints and brushes, you are able to create your own original piece of pottery in an hour or two.

However, Kourakugama kiln offers something a little different! Their Stay-Over Plan allows you to spend more time becoming immersed in pottery making.

Kourakugama is a kiln with a 150-year history. It is located a mere five minutes drive from Arita station.
Kouraku Kiln
It features a spacious workplace with high ceilings. In actual fact, this building is a former primary school which has been converted into a workshop. This is a very unusual pottery producer.

Kouraku kiln provides lodgings for a small number of visitors in its three-room guesthouse. It is the only residencce in Arita which can be booked through Airbnb.
Kouraku Kiln guest house
The kitchen, bathroom and toilets are communal.
Kouraku Kiln toilet
The lounge and hallways are decorated in Arita style.
Kouraku Kiln display
Kouraku Kiln wall
Kouraku Kiln lunch box
Arita Art Residency – Double Room
有田焼体験学習可能なゲストハウス-Guest Room II

It was the desire of the owner to provide lodgings so that visitors could challenge pottery making at Koraku kiln without having to hurry away.

Initially, you will be given a tour of the plant to give you an idea of what can be done here. For example, you can make a dish with clay and a mold.
Kouraku Kiln making
Or, you can also use a potter’s wheel (both manual and electrically powered).
potter's wheel
potter's wheel
This is where designs are painted onto the pottery. Needless to say you can borrow all the necessary tools.

This tour of the actual work shop provides you with the opportunity to observe each process involved in ceramic making. Your guide, a potter himself, can speak five different languages (Portuguese, Japanese, English, Chinese and Spanish) so foreign guests need not worry. You will be given a warm welcome.

After the tour, the kiln will try to accommodate your request, whether you want to help with operations you are interested in or make something original yourself. The special feature of Koraku kiln is that it is very flexible in the options it offers. Activities are charged by the day so you can take your time to come to grips with whatever task you decide to challenge.

I was shown pieces made by some of their foreign guests. These works were made using a technology known as transcription, in which designs used by Kouraku kiln in the past can be replicated.

On this plate, an original pattern in the shape of droplets, which was designed in Koraku Kiln, is traced on to the plate. This was a novel design for me.
rain drop
Plenty of creativity was to be found in other works in the factory.
I realized after looking at these works that you are free to be as creative as you please and need not conform to typical Arita style!
Kouraku Kiln plate

Kouraku kiln plans to increase residence and studio space in future. You too can partake in an experience unique to Arita.

Kourakugama kiln (幸楽窯)

Address: 2512 Hei, Maruo, Arita-chō, Nishimatsuura-gun, Saga-ken
Telephone: 0955-42-4121
Opening Hours: 8:00 ~ 17:00
Regular Holidays:
Access 1: 5 minutes by car from JR Arita station
Access 2: 10 minutes by car from Hasami-Arita IC (Nishi Kyushu Expressway)
Distance to airport:  32 km from Nagasaki Airport. 40 km from Saga Airport
Wi-Fi: Available
Price: Factory tour from 3,000 yen per day
Language: Portuguese, Japanese, English, Chinese and Spanish

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