Visit Tokoname on a trip to Japan or not??

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Visit Tokoname on a trip to Japan or not??

Post  teaough on Tue 29 Jun 2010, 8:28 pm

I'm planning a trip to Japan (solo) and I'll be in Tokyo, Kyoto, and Osaka as a tourist.

For those of you who have been to Japan and actually visited Tokoname city...

What did you do/see/purchase?

Did you consider the visit worth your time?

Thanks

teaough
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Re: Visit Tokoname on a trip to Japan or not??

Post  Kev Bailey on Tue 29 Jun 2010, 10:50 pm

I haven't been to Tokoname but have visited Kyoto and Tokyo. Have you been to Japan before?

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Re: Visit Tokoname on a trip to Japan or not??

Post  kauaibonsai on Tue 29 Jun 2010, 10:54 pm

absolutely. especially if you can arrange a tour before hand. to just walk in cold, might be difficult. go to the town website. maybe some info there.

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Re: Visit Tokoname on a trip to Japan or not??

Post  teaough on Tue 29 Jun 2010, 11:21 pm

Yup - been to many cities in Japan and on multiple visits. Don't speak the language though - well, not well enough for a random bonsai conversation.

Tokoname is an option for this trip. Don't know whether I should go or not though. I think I have enough pots - NOT!!!

teaough
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Re: Visit Tokoname on a trip to Japan or not??

Post  Alain Bertrand on Wed 30 Jun 2010, 8:05 am

Sea mail is cheap in Japan, ask for « funabin » in a post office. This may be a factor in deciding to go to Tokoname or not.

Alain Bertrand
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Re: Visit Tokoname on a trip to Japan or not??

Post  Chris Cochrane on Thu 01 Jul 2010, 6:12 pm

Hi Teaough... I've not been to Tokoname, but there are elegant descriptions of trips to Tokoname on the web. Some of the best include descriptions by Museum visitors such as Louise Cort (Ceramics Curator at the Smithsonian's Freer Gallery). If combining bonsai & tea enthusiasm, check for information by tea enthusiasts such as Bonnie Mitchell (Urasenke chanoyu teamaster in Seattle) or Patricia Graham (sencha tea historian, Kansas). There are annual events for tea & tea utensil sales that should not be missed (e.g., at Manpuku-ji in Uji near Kyoto in May).

If sending enough material home to fill a container, definitely get a local customs broker. Otherwise, customs will break open careful packing on West Coast entry & subsequent damage is much more likely before arrival at your door in NY.

Yoshi Nakamizu (Bonsai Network Japan) is very well-connected to the professional bonsai community, speaks English well, responds promptly to email & is a travel agent who can accommodate individuals or groups. I highly recommend Yoshi to ease introductions & open doors.

Details on the folks noted are easily found through a Google search. There is also a site on certified customs brokers.

Sounds as though you have time & resources that are rare. Have a great trip.

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Re: Visit Tokoname on a trip to Japan or not??

Post  Rob Kempinski on Sun 04 Jul 2010, 4:04 pm

Tokonome is a short train ride from the Nagoya station and definitely worth a day trip.
Make sure you go when the kilns are open. If you speak Japanese your trip will be more enriching but you can probably get through with no Japanese. I did a self guided tour in 2000 and ended up visiting several kilns and buying several pots but I carried them with me and left them in hotel storage until time to come home.

As an aside, my friend and I left our luggage at a department store at the info counter in Nagoya. We didn't want to lug it to Tokonome. When we returned another employee was on duty but was fully briefed by the earlier worker and she returned our luggage to us - no charge. Only in Japan!!

Rob Kempinski
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Re: Visit Tokoname on a trip to Japan or not??

Post  Jarrod on Sun 18 Jul 2010, 4:03 am

I think it is worth it. As a person who walked the streets there in march, I found it quite amazing. Though I did find kinashi far more interesting and enlightening. I don't speak the language but I still found my way around very easily. I also talked with Yoshi and he really does have all the right connections.

I only brought home the pots I could carry in bags and be careful because the weight adds up quickly.

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