Destinations

BIZEN

Many red brick chimneys from kilns are seen among houses in Bizen, which is town renowned for Bizen ceramic ware.

Bizen ware looks rather homely, with no decorations or glazes, created only by a shape of soil and by fire. With an approximately 1,000-year history, Bizen ware has been much-prized as the embodiment of wabi-sabi, the beauty of simplicity.

When you get off at JR Inbe Station, you find Bizen-yaki-dento-sangyo-kaikan (Bizen Ware Traditional Industrial Building) in front of the station, the shape of which reminds visitors of kilns and chimneys. You can experience making ceramics there. Old Bizen ware shops, with window displays of ceramics, line the street near the station. A small flower vase makes a nice souvenir. Bizen ware highlights the beauty of a flower because it does not have pictorial designs on the surface. And as the vessel is porous to air without glaze, the flower keeps well. It is also good for beer and sake, so buying a sake cup is also recommended. As for food, ice cream with soy sauce is a local specialty, which was originated by a soy sauce maker. It is tasty with a little bit of a salty flavor. The Shizutani School is nearby. It was the first school for commoners in Japan and is now designated as a national treasure.

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