The Hasami Tourism Exchange Center is located in the middle of town and offers a range of experiences and information. Some of the many attractions include buying pottery, a museum about Hasami, and a pottery making course. This area is located right next to Hasami Ceramics Park, so I recommend going there as well!
Pottery for You
The biggest attraction on the first floor of the Hasami Tourism Exchange Center, is their porcelain store. Pottery from over 30 Kilns in Hasami can be found here. Each kiln has their own unique designs and characteristics, which means there will be something interesting for people with varying tastes.
Anything from mugs, to plates, to bowls are being sold here. Right inside the entrance there is also a discount area with Hasami pottery for sell at a much lower price. Some of these dishes are from previous seasons or have small minor imperfections that are not noticeable. So, if you are a bargain shopper, this area would be the best place to shop.
Hasami porcelain was made in the past to be used by everyone, for every meal. This means that these pieces of pottery are still affordable, even brand new.
Hasami Pottery Museum
The second floor of this building has a museum dedicated to teaching everyone about how Hasami started. Hasami started as a small village, to becoming the leading producers of everyday Japanese porcelain from over 400 years ago. There is also a robot that will talk with you about the history of Hasami. Although the robot only knows how to speak Japanese, this is still a neat attraction.
There are also many old pieces of pottery on display that have been recovered from hundreds of years ago. One of the reasons that Hasami was able to produce affordable pottery for the Japanese people is because of the type of kiln that they used. A scale model of this kiln as well as how it was used is also displayed within the museum.
You can also have a hands-on experience making your own pottery. There is a class available to build and shape porcelain from beginning to end. This is usually done on weekends, however, if time is short, there is also the ability to paint a plate, and they will fire it in a kiln for you and mail the plate once it is complete!
This is a lot of fun because you will be provided with a plate made in Hasami but will also be able to put your own design on it to have a fun memory to take home. In order to participate, a reservation is required.
The painting experience will take around 30-45 minutes. The cost to join ranges from 850 yen for a mug, up to 1,000 yen to paint a plate. After that is done, it will undergo the process of glazing and being baked until it is complete, which will take anywhere from 2-4 weeks.
For shaping your own pottery, reservations will need to be placed 1 week in advanced so that they can make sure that the instructor will be available. This experience is limited to 10 people so that everyone will be able to have their own machine to work on.
This experience will take up to 1 hour to complete and costs 3,800 yen for one person. If a group of 2 or more sign up, then the price is 3,500 yen per person.
The Hasami tourism center also has maps and guides that you can take with you while traveling throughout Hasami, as well as staff that can help lead you in the right direction or help you with any questions that you may have. The Hasami Tourism Center is open from 9:00 – 17:00.