Our second day in Saga began with a visit to Okawachiyama, the place where Japanese ceramics was said to be born around 300 years ago.
By the way, we also went to visit the factory where ceramics are made. We saw where the shape of the ceramics take form and also where they are painted on. The workers listen to music while drawing on the ceramics. It looks like a very relaxing way of working. But anyway, I thought they were all really good at drawing.
After having seen everything at the factory, we went for a stroll around the place. We saw ceramic shops here and there. Even small houses sell ceramics. It’s a really cute place! If you like handcrafted products, you definitely shouldn’t miss going here. Saga Prefecture is especially known for handicrafts such as there. That’s why we couldn’t get enough of seeing ceramics, so we went on over to Gallery Arita.
It’s called “gallery” but the interesting thing about this shop is you can choose from one of the cups on display and drink from there.
Ah, I almost forgot! They also serve food here. I recommend the mochi-like tofu meal set. I think the ceramics used to serve food here goes really well with their menu. I also thought the food the others ordered looked so good that I couldn’t stop taking photos of those, too.
After eating, we went for a stroll around an area called Uchiyama Road. There are some architecture that seem to have European influence. Before we knew it, we reached a shrine called Tozan Shrine. This shrine is revered by the people living around here. They come to this shrine to pray for good business.
We had to try for ourselves, too! We threw 5-yen coins into the box and received written fortunes. Unfortunately our fortunes were written entirely in Japanese! Haha. The written fortunes here are lined up from the ones with most luck to the ones with least luck. If you receive one with not-so-good luck, you shouldn’t bring it home with you.
Afterwards, we went to a place whose architecture has heavy German influence. It was really beautiful there, but what caught our attention was the ceramic painting workshop they offer where we could paint on ceramics ourselves. After making your own handiwork, they’ll send your finished ceramic to your home within 2-4 weeks. Aren’t they cuuuuuute?
By the way, if it’s concerning love or romance, you should definitely go to Takeo Shrine. There’s a famous “couple tree” here, so people praying for love come here for this.
You can pray here whether you’re an ‘amateur’ single, first-time wisher, or even someone who particularly have nothing to worry about.
To do this, first you buy an amulet, think of the person you’re wishing for, then follow the instructions written here. That’s all! It’s not hard at all!
There’s also another tree nearby that is huge and is around 3,000 years old. You don’t have to pray to this tree, though! Just taking pictures of it is okay. :) This tree is also said to be the house of famous Studio Ghibli character, Totoro. That’s why Totoro fans should definitely visit this tree!
After leaving the shrine and walking around some more, we came upon the Takeo City Library. The idea of having a cafe inside a library is simply brilliant. Because of that, those who visit the library gradually increase in number. It’s a place not only for people who want to read books but also those who come together with their friends or family to spend a leisurely time here.
Our last activity for today was really fantastic. We saw a light show at Mifuneyama Rakuen. This place is usually open only during daytime, but every summer they remain open until night. We entered at 8:00 PM.
The light show this year was was made by designers “teamLab”. This is the same team who built the light show in Bangkok 2-3 months ago. The show here felt like a really beautiful present!