Mashiko ware | The only one Traditional Craft in Tochigi


What is Mashiko ware?

Mashiko ware is characterized by the texture of the clay. The clay from the prefecture contains many air bubbles, which makes it unsuitable for fine work, and it is inevitably thick like Akazu ware. This is what gives Mashiko Pottery its characteristic warm, fluffy texture. The sandy texture and rustic flavor of Mashiko pottery is also one of its charms. The clay of Mashiko Pottery is a perfect match for the glazes also made in Mashiko, and the colors added by the ame and celadon glazes give the pots a deep and rich flavor.

Mashiko pottery tends to be darker when fired due to the nature of the clay, and to compensate for this, a nuka-jiro glaze has been used to cover the white finish. Decorations are simple and practical, painted with familiar tools such as brush strokes and comb strokes.

History of Mashiko Pottery

Mashiko pottery has a history dating back to the end of the Edo period in the area surrounding the town of Mashiko in Tochigi Prefecture. Its history began when Otsuka Keizaburo, who had trained in Kasama ware in Ibaraki, found suitable clay for pottery in Mashiko and chose the town as the site for his pottery production. The main products are daily necessities such as pots and earthenware bottles.

Because of its proximity to the Tokyo metropolitan area and its suitability for distribution, the area developed rapidly. It is said that the town has attracted hundreds of potters from both Japan and abroad because of its traditional “don’t refuse anyone who comes” spirit. Today, Mashiko Pottery continues to combine the traditions of “Mashiko-style” pottery with cutting-edge design, and is known by many people as “Mashiko-yaki. We make products that can be accepted by customers.

Source: Creema

Three kilns for Mashiko ware

1. Tsukamoto

Founded in 1864, Tsukamoto Kiln has a history of more than 150 years and is the Mashiko’s largest kiln. When Mashiko pottery was still struggling to make ends meet after the shift to folk art, Tsukamoto was contracted to produce containers for the “Tougeno-Kamameshi” station lunch box sold at Yokogawa Station on the Shinetsu Line. Gradually, the demand for Touge no Kamameshi grew so great that the company could no longer cover the cost with its own production alone, and it placed orders with about 20 other potteries. This led to the stabilization of the Mashiko pottery industry as a whole.

kiln of Mashiko ware
Source: Creema

Today, Tsukamoto still manufactures containers for the Kamameshi of the mountain pass. Tsukamoto is committed to manufacturing products with the idea of “creating products that are in tune with the times. The “kamacco” No. 1 cooker, developed based on the concept of an earthenware pot for one person, is a product that shows this attitude.

The headquarters in Mashiko Town is a 7-minute drive from Mashiko Station. In addition to the kiln factory, there is a gallery, a hands-on workshop, and a restaurant on the vast site surrounded by nature, where you can enjoy “seeing, buying, playing, and eating. It is the first place you should visit when you are in Mashiko.

Mashiko Pottery Tsukamoto
Address: 4264, Mashiko, Mashiko-machi,
Haga-gun, Tochigi
Business hours: 9:00-17:00
Closed: Every Thursday
Official website:

Tsukamoto kiln
Source: Fujimaki Department Store

2. Enokida Kiln

Dots, lattice, and plants……The eye-catching patterns of the Enokida Kiln are impressive. The dishes make a bright and lively dining table and are easy to match with both colorful salads and calm simmered dishes. The chubby texture is typical of Mashiko ware and comfortable to hold in the hand.

The fifth generation of the family, Wakaba Enokita, is the one who makes the dot-patterned dishes. She and her husband, Satoshi, and her father, Katsuhiko, the fourth generation, each make vessels at the main store in Mashiko Town. The dotted and lattice patterns that Wakaba creates are also painted using the wax-brick method, a technique that has been used at Enokida for generations. Enokida Kiln is also famous for its teapots. Please pick one up along with the pottery.

In addition to the main store, which is both a studio and a store, you can also enjoy freshly made soba noodles prepared by Katsuhiko, the fourth generation of the Enokidagama family, at a branch a short distance away. Of course, the dishes are made by Enokida Kiln. When you visit the restaurant, you should definitely try the soba noodles made with the dough-kneading ability cultivated through the experience of making vessels.

Source: Tochiginavi

Enokida Kiln

Address: 4240, Mashiko, Mashiko-machi,
Haga-gun, Tochigi
Business hours: 10:00 – 16:00
Closed: Every Thursday
Official website:

3. Yoshizawa Kiln

The chubby texture of Yoshizawa’s pottery warmly decorates the dining table. The company makes its products with a focus on the “use” of the vessels. One of the popular points of their products is that they are very cute, yet durable and easy to use in daily life, being microwave and dishwasher-safe. The unique shapes of the vessels are very cute, but when placed on the dining table with food, they naturally make the food look more attractive. It also has that kind of charm.

The store is located in Mashiko, and you can find their products at the folk craft store “Yamani Otsuka” in Mashiko Town, or online at “on the table”. You can check the arrival information on the official Facebook page of “on the table” and in the mail magazine. Since items are often sold out soon after being announced, we recommend that you check often if there is an item you are interested in.

Yoshizawa Kiln
Official online store:

mashiko ware
Source: Yoshizawa-gama

Next is Nikko carving, a craft that originated during the Tokugawa family’s rule of Japan. This craft is not officially accredited traditional Japanese crafts, yet it’s noteworthy to introduce considering its reputations.

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