Are you an artsy type and epicurean, do you like sake and hands-on activities? This Japanese artisan tour is made for you. Explore Hirashimizu, once a pottery village at the edge of Yamagata City, now studded with diverse artisanal shops.
Hit one of the only two remaining artisan kilns in the village, the 150-year-old family-run Shichiemongama pottery workshop, for a pottery class. Beginners are welcome and your guide will carefully show you the molding method unique to Hirashimizu. Because of the special characteristics of the raw material collected from nearby Mt. Chitoseyama, the pottery techniques used are particular to the area.
Challenge yourself to create your own hand-made tableware. This is the ideal spot to learn how to craft a lovely souvenir dish, bowl, or sake cup! The pottery experience follows a guided tour of the facility and an explanation of the journey of each piece, from clay to completion.
You’ll move to the Shichemongama showroom and feast your eyes on their stunning production, including some rare antiquities from the early age of the kiln. Take also a look at the old wood-fired kiln, used only once or twice a year, as nowadays kilns are gas-fired.
In a special room right behind their workshop, you will then have the chance to meet one of Yamagata's most famous sommeliers for an in-depth sake workshop. This will include a flight of Yamagata's finest sake selected from breweries from across this region.
Together with the sommelier, you will learn about this region's brewing practices and the types of local food the breweries here targeted when creating their spirits in this special pairing class showcasing some of the best that this region has to offer.
At the end of the experience, you will then visit the silk shop of Kameya where you will meet the artisans here and learn about the benibana dyes and samurai silk that together played a key role in Yamagata's prosperity in a special access tour of their shop.
Pottery making class
Sake class including sake tasting and food pairing
Tour of Kameya
Any additional food and beverages
Meeting Point and Meeting Time
Shichiemongama pottery workshop
Non-alcoholic options are available for the tasting portion of the tour