From 1900-1950 Tokoname ceramic industry had a boom. During this era there was hundreds of kilns beeing built and their chimneys dotted the city landscape, and their smoke made the whole town so black that it was said that even the birds of Tokoname where coloured from all the sot. In the 60ths Japan abounded raw oil as a fuel for the kilns and it was no longer profitable to keep the industry and the ceramic factorys going, so it started to decay. Recently the city has began to resque some of the old buildings in the centre and invited artists, potters and cafes to settle down along the narrow streets and created a tourist path to walk. Dont expect to find any bonsai potters of today working and selling their pots along these streets, whose shops are mainly filled with souvenirs for japanese and chinese visitors. * But its worth a visit for the history, scenery and nice places to eat and have a drink.
Scenery from a hill in Tokoname. Notice the tree growing in the chimney of an abondoned pottery.
One of the still active potterys along the ”Pottery walk”.
And the window of a rescently closed down pottery.
In ditches, slopes and backyards broken bonsai pots are still laying around.
Inside one of the biggest kilns in Tokoname. Built mainly for firing bonsai pots.
Old jars and vessels has come to new use preventing the soil from landsliding during heavy rains.
At the cafes and shops you can find both old and new ceramicware for sale.
Nice places to give the feets a rest on.
* I am writing on a post with all the active bonsai potters in Tokoname who are open for visitors. Soon to be released.