One of the first things you see on the walk along the pottery path are yaki-neko’s, or rather, ceramic cats. I decided to catalog them all, as I made my way up the hill along the wall they were attached too. This post is a gallery of them; for anyone who likes cats, a visit to Tokoname is recommended.
Today I managed an earlier start, and actually had time to grab some breakfast at the hotel – a rarity for me. With two full days left based in Nagoya, I wanted to make sure I got to Tokoname, a popular spot for yakimono, so I set out mid morning with the hope of getting there around noon. As luck would turn out, finding a bank machine that worked on a Sunday proved somewhat tricky – even the trusty JP machines which I believe are affiliated with Japan Post didn’t seem to like my card. I ended up having to hike it to the main post office and was fortunate that the card worked there – in a JP machine no less, making me wonder why it hadn’t worked at the one in the station! A frustrating way to start the day, as with all the extra running around I ended up not arriving in Tokoname until almost 1pm.
It was well worth it though. A visit to Tokoname involves a walk through the historic pottery center along 1.8km of paved pathway and stairs. A detailed map of the area, with all the highlights marked was available in the train station and I spent the next four hours traversing the path, which included a few shopping stops. A side trip across one of main roads took me into an older section of town which appeared to miss the tourist traffic – little was open and what there was didn’t interest the casual tourist.
I wandered for a while and then headed back to the main path, and ultimately the gift shop at the start/end of the route where I had previously noted some attractive pottery being showcased by the potterer himself. It was in the back of the main shop, and only hosted his wares, allowing for a more personal exploration and explanation as to what had gone into the making of the items and how they’d been decorated. As I had already picked up a couple of pieces, I limited myself to a couple of items and ended up being the last customer for the day.