I’ve been to Mashiko once before and loved it, its easy to get to and fitting for my first road trip..
Mashiko is about 60km from here….
There are over 380 styles of pottery in the region, but my favorites are the real earthy colors, that I feel are typical of the area… However there are so many, its just my preference 🙂
Much of the pottery is made in what are called noborigama or climbing kilns. Which essentially a multi-chamber kiln that climbs a hill and as each chamber is lit it preheats the next one up……..
When I first visited it was after the 2011 earthquake and they had been badly damaged, however on this trip one of the store owners proudly showed me the repairs that are well underway… (Which I omitted to take a photo of …..)
I bought heaps and sent some back to Australia and kept some here, I definitely will go again, its a lovely town, I must find out when the pottery festival is … That would be worth a visit…
Notes from Wikipedia
Mashiko is known for its pottery, called mashikoyaki (益子焼). Early pottery in Mashiko dates back to the Jōmon and Yayoi periods. Mashikoyaki is often thought of as a simple and rustic in style, brown with maybe a little red glaze,but modern pottery made in Mashiko today is found in many styles, because of the creative freedom brought to Mashiko by Shoji Hamada. Modern Mashikoyaki dates only to 1853, when a potter discovered that local clay here was ideal for ceramics. The style was popularized in 1930 when Hamada, later designated as a Living National Treasure, set up a kiln in Mashiko. Hamada′s student, Tatsuzō Shimaoka, was also designated as a Living National Treasure and worked in Mashiko from 1953 until his death in 2007.