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Shigaraki and Asamiya --- Pottery Town and Tea Fields


  • Pottery making experience at a local potter's studio in Shigaraki
  • Visit local pottery artisans in Shigaraki and view their kilns and studios
  • Stroll around quaint narrow streets in the old town centre of Shigaraki
  • Leisurely countryside train ride on the Shigaraki Kogen (Highland) Railway
  • Learning Japanese tea culture through a unique tea tasting experience
  • Views of vast tea fields and a walk through them


The tour starts from Kyoto Station with taking JR (Japan Railway) eastward. About an hour later, we will be at Kibukawa, where we change our train to Shigaraki Kogen Railway. As you guess from the word "Kogen (literally highland)", you can enjoy good views of countryside landscape throughout the half hour leisurely trip to Shigaraki.

The train terminates at Shigaraki Station, which is the main gateway of our first destination, Shigaraki town, the home of the world famous "Shigaraki-yaki" (Shigaraki ware). Blessed with the special clay from the bed of ancient Lake Biwa, this hillside town has a centuries-long history in pottery making and is counted as one of the towns of Japan's "Six Old Kilns". The central area of Shigaraki retains nostalgic atmosphere of the old pottery town to this day: numbers of studios, galleries and local people's houses stand close together along the quaint narrow streets, and there still remain traditional-type kilns, "anagama" (literally "cave kiln") and "noborigama" (multi-chambered climbing kiln), here and there. On a stroll around the area, we visit some local pottery masters, talk with them, and view their kilns, workshops, and galleries. Interestingly, in Shigaraki most of the studios and galleries are attached to the potter's residences so that you can not only see their workspaces but experience parts of the artisan families' daily life. Our walks ends at a restaurant for lunch (there are several options for lunch place).

Afterwards, we take a taxi to the next and destination, Asamiya, a village in a valley known as a production centre of one of the best tea leaves in Japan. First we go deep into the mountain to the hilltop with the magnificent view of the tea plantations. Here we meet up the lovely lady from local tea farmer family. She will give you an explanation what makes Asamiya tea so fine. Then we go down the hill and visit her beautiful Japanese-style home. Here we have unique "tea experiences" with her instruction, such as roasting tea leaves, and tasting different types of tea. The lady also will introduce you how to make a good tea, and moreover, how deeply tea drinking habit are embedded in Japanese culture.

As the shadows lengthen, we leave Asamiya by bus. A 40 minute bus trip through deep mountains adds more colours to the end of your experience. After short train rides, our tour concludes at JR Kyoto Station.


JR Kyoto Station (Departure)


Kibukawa Station

Train (Shigaraki Kogen Railway)

Town centre of Shigaraki
- Strolling around the town
- Visiting local potters' studios and galleries
- Lunch


- Short walk in a tea field
- Tea testing experience

Public Bus

Ishiyamadera Station


Ishiyama Station


JR Kyoto Station (Return)

Tour includes

  • English-speaking tour conductor (licensed guide interpreter)
  • Fee for pottery making and tea tasting experience
  • Fare for all transportation listed above
  • Insurance
  • Local tax

Tour does NOT include

  • Lunch (Please take whatever you would like at the lunch venue)


  • If you stay in Shiga Prefecture, our departure and return point may be changed into a more convenient place.
  • The potters we visit may vary depending on date, although we generally visit three or four potters.
  • You can purchase pottery from potters in Shigaraki, but please note that not all of them handle international shipping and accept credit cards.
  • A few kinds of "tea activities" may be available at Asamiya depending on the season.
  • From late October to February, the bus rides from Asamiya to Ishiyamadera is to be after the sunset.
  • We walk about 2.5-3 km on this tour.
  • Seats in public transportations are not guaranteed.
  • Itinerary may change without earlier notice due to weather and transport conditions or any unforeseen circumstance(s).


"Noborigama" (multi-chambered climbing kiln)
Shigaraki Kogen Railway "Noborigama" kiln Townscape of Shigaraki
Raccoon dog pottery figures (for which Shigaraki is famous today) Pottery drying in the sun A local potter's studio
Tea fields in Asamiya Tea roasting with the spacial pan Enjoy Japanese tea and tea sweets!
Booking Enquiry Form »

Price (per person):

No. of person(s)Price
2 ¥38,000
3-4 ¥31,500
5-6 ¥27,000

Children under 5 are free of charge and not included in guest count.


  • ¥1,000pp off for adults with a valid JR pass
  • ¥1,400pp/¥1,000pp off for children aged 6-11 with/without a valid JR pass

Tour operates:

Monday to Friday, except for national public holidays

Group size:

Minimum 1 / Maximum 6


English (and of course Japanese)

Meeting time:

7:50 a.m.

Meeting point:

JR Kyoto Station (Next to the JR Information desk in the central concourse)  » MAP

Your tour conductor with a YUtour's logo card hung from his neck will be waiting to greet you.

Returning time:

6:45 p.m. approx.