Unveiling Japanese's Ceramic Traditions

Embark on an excursion to discover Japanese ceramics on Kyushu island, the southernmost of the archipelago's four main islands. You'll travel around the island in a rental car, stopping off at small potters' villages where ceramics are handcrafted

This excursion offers a unique opportunity not only to contemplate the magnificent works produced by these craftsmen, but also to observe how they are created. 

And that's not all! The typical landscapes and tranquility of the villages will make your excursion all the more enjoyable. Torii, bridges adorned with porcelain and a variety of local crafts ranging from ceramics to tea production, all in a purely Japanese setting, are the basic ingredients of this excursion.

3 days / 2 nights itinerary by car throughout the Kyushu island 

  • Departure city : Fukuoka
  • Karatsu
  • Imari
  • Arita
  • Hita
  • Return city : Fukuoka

Please find detailed itinerary information below. 

IMPORTANT: If your driving license was issued in France, Switzerland, Germany, Belgium, or Taiwan, it is not valid in Japan, so you will need a certified Japanese translation, available in option.

Why choose this excursion to Japan ? 

  1. Discover a little-known aspect of traditional Japanese art
  2. Walk through peaceful, picturesque villages
  3. An opportunity to see for yourself how ceramics are made. 
  4. The chance to see a variety of local craftsmen at work and some remarkable landscapes
  5. Many recommendations available in your digital travel guidebook.

Your excursion in detail


  • Day 1 : Must-Sees of Japanese Ceramics

    Pick up your rental car in Fukuoka and head for the first stop on your tour. 

    A former hub of trade between Japan and the outside world, the city is also known for its production of ceramics known as "Karatsu-yaki", famous for their transparent surface. Take the opportunity to visit one of the city's many ceramic shops and see how they are handcrafted

    Before leaving the town, take a tour of its castle and treat yourself to a spectacular view of the beach, located just a short distance away. 

    Hop back in the car and set off to discover Imari porcelain. Exported from the town's port and much appreciated by European aristocrats, you'll see ceramic ornaments all over Imari, such as on its bridges and walls. 

    Then stop off at a charming potters' village hidden deep in a valley, where old pottery kilns and ceramics shops await you. Once you're satisfied with your purchases, head back to your hotel.

  • Day 2 : Discovering Japanese craftsmanship

    Your second day begins with a visit to a ceramics workshop where a Canadian artist has set up shop. 

    Continue your journey and make a detour to the pottery kilns used by the artist Kakiemon and his descendants. His technique of decorating porcelain has been part of Japan's cultural heritage since 1971 and is well worth a visit. 

    Take a trip to the Kyūshū Ceramics Museum, where you'll find detailed information about Japanese ceramic history. After a short drive, you'll reach a famous shrine where a magnificent porcelain Torii was erected in 1888. 

    Then head to the next town, where you can enjoy lunch before entering the oldest tea shop in the area. Move away from the town center and stop at the observation deck a little further up: enjoy the panoramic view of the terraced tea fields stretching as far as the eye can see. 

    Get back in your car and drive to the last stopover of the day, famous for its eel dishes. Also known for the quality of its water, sake distilleries have set up here and now offer excellent local products. After a good dinner, head for your hotel.

  • Day 3 : From hand-made to high-tech

    Start your day with a visit to a sake distillery: ideal for fans of Japanese alcohols looking for new flavors to try. 

    Afterwards, you'll visit a historic city building just a few steps away from the brewery, with an incredible panoramic view of the whole city. You will then visit a manufacturer of geta, the traditional Japanese shoes worn by geishas for instance. 

    Get back in the car and make your way to the next two stopovers. Take your time to appreciate the tranquillity of these small pottery villages, and be sure to visit some of the ceramics shops you'll see on your walk. 

    Finally, you reach the last city on this excursion: Fukuoka. Make your first stop at a ceramics workshop where the artist specializes in making pottery with modern designs

    Once you've finished your trip, it's time to return to the rental agency near Hakata Station to drop off your vehicle.

    Included in your self-guided excursion

  • Accommodation

    - 2 nights in 3-star hotels or equivalent

    The base rate includes a twin room.

  • Transportation

    - 3-day car rental starting from Fukuoka

  • Visit & meals

    - Breakfast at your hotel is included on day 3

    Other services

  • Other services

    - 7/7 telephone assistance in English and Japanese bilingual

    - Complete digital travel diary before your departure

  • Not included in the price of your excursion

    - Optional insurance 

    - Personal expenses, including lunches (you will find addresses selected by us in your travel pack) 

    - Entrance fees to museums, gardens or temples 

    - Access to internet (Pocket WiFi or SIM card) 

    - Everything not included in the "Included in your excursion" section

More information about your trip

Your excursion:

- Please note that at least one person taking part in the trip must have a driving licence valid in their country.

- The prices shown on this page may vary according to the Japanese ¥ exchange rate. 

- Unfortunately, this tour is not accessible to people with reduced mobility. 

- Children aged 3 and over are accepted. Child rates available for children ages 3 to 11 included.

- Pets are not accepted. 

- This program may be subject to changes due to imperatives such as weather conditions or other force majeure events. Please note that due to the current situation, all mentioned information is subject to change or adaptation. 

- In order to benefit from an internet connection, book a pocket wifi or SIM card with Japan Experience. 

- This tour must be booked at least 45 days before the start date of the tour. 

- Your travel documents will be sent to you by email before your departure.

Your accommodation:

- Some hotels may ask you to pay a tourist tax on arrival. This depends on the town and even the hotel, as some do not include it in the cost of the reservation. It generally amounts to ¥200/night/person (about €1.60) but may be a little higher in 4-star hotels. It must be paid in cash at the hotel reception. 

- Single room: People travelling alone and/or wishing to book a single room must pay a supplement at the time of booking. Please note that a single room supplement for an order of more than 2 people will be applied in all accommodation except ryokans (3 and 4*). As this is traditional accommodation, people with the same reservation are grouped together in spacious rooms that can accommodate up to 5 people. 

- 3-person room: If there are 3, 5 or more of you and you do not select the single supplement, you will be allocated a triple room. 

- Hotel names: The names given on the site are for information only. In the event of unavailability, an establishment of equivalent standing will be scheduled. 

Your transport:

- Car rental takes place in Fukuoka, near Hakata Station. The location might change in case of unavailability. 

- In Japan, most cars are automatic. 

- Costs related to gasoline and possible tolls are not included in the tour price. 

- If your driving license was issued in France, Switzerland, Germany, Belgium, or Taiwan, it is not valid in Japan, so you will need a certified Japanese translation, available as an option.

Your meals:

- Breakfast at your hotel is included on day 3.

- For other meals, you will find addresses selected by us in your travel diary.

Unveiling Japanese's Ceramic Traditions


Optional services

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