Bizen Travel Guide

  • Hattoji Villa
    Hattoji Villa
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  • Shizutani School
    Shizutani School
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  • Amatsu Shrine
    Amatsu Shrine
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Bizen Things to Do

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    by Rabbityama Written Feb 6, 2014

    Amatsu Shrine is located in Bizen's pottery town and is one of the most popular sites to visit aside from the pottery shops. All of the shrine's tiles are made from Bizen pottery, along with the statues. Actual pots are also placed along the walls lining the stairs to the shrine. There are statues of the twelve zodiac animals, as well. The pottery makes the shrine attractive, as well as unique. It's a must-visit for anyone who comes to Bizen for the pottery.

    The shrine grounds are free.

    Amatsu Shrine Amatsu Shrine Amatsu Shrine Amatsu Shrine Amatsu Shrine
    Related to:
    • Architecture
    • Religious Travel
    • Arts and Culture

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    by Rabbityama Written Jun 18, 2013

    One of the reasons people visit Bizen is to see, buy, make, and learn about Bizen Pottery. The area around Inbe Station is where the pottery sites are located. The Bizen Pottery Traditional and Contemporary Museum is a great place to learn about the history, and the streets are lined with shops selling pottery made by the shops' owners. There are other related sites scattered about that are worth visiting, too.

    First, among the shops are the famous smokestacks. If you are lucky, you'll actually get to see smoke rising from at least one of them. That is a sign that the craftsman is firing some of his pottery.

    Those interested in the history should definitely visit the Tenpokama (Tenbokama/Tenpogama, it's name is translated differently in different sources). The Tenpokama is an old kiln that has now been preserved so visitors can see it and walk around it to better understand the firing process and how the pottery is made.

    Nearby is Inbe Shrine, where a monument to the Kita Oomamaato kiln stands and a nice lookout point over the town and the pottery smokestacks. Amazu Shrine, the famous Bizen pottery shrine, is also nearby.

    The last site is easy to miss if you don't know to look for it. There is a place where Bizen pottery has been incorporated into a wall along the road. It's actually an interesting site. The best way to find this (and all of the sites) is to stop at the Visitor Center in Inbe Station before setting off to pick up a map. They have English and Japanese with pictures to make it easy to find the sites. The Inbe area is a nice place to walk around and to experience a different part of Japanese culture from the typical tourist spots.

    Bizen Pottery in a Sidestreet Wall Bizen Pottery Smokestacks Tenpokama Bizen Smokestacks from Inbe Shrine Path to Inbe Shrine
    Related to:
    • Hiking and Walking
    • Arts and Culture
    • Historical Travel

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    by Rabbityama Written May 29, 2013

    The Bizen Pottery Traditional and Contemporary Art Museum is the best place to learn about Bizen pottery. The first and crudest form of Bizen pottery was made during the Kofun Period and developed during the Heian, Kamakura, and Muromachi Periods to resemble what it looks like today. The museum has Bizen pottery from throughout its history on display.

    When the Ikeda ruled the area, Bizen pottery had such prestige that they only permitted six families to produce it. Bizen pottery became famous nation-wide during the Edo Period. Over time the market for Bizen pottery waned as porcelain and other forms of pottery became popular. It became a concern that the art may be lost, but thanks to Kaneshige Toyo's dedication to continuing to produce the pottery in the same way it was made in the past, Bizen pottery has survived and has regained prestige.

    Along with the old pottery, the museum also features Kaneshige Toyo's revival pottery, examples of each of the six types of Bizen pottery, and modern works using the pottery. English pamphlets make it easy to learn here even if you don't know Japanese.

    Entrance is 700 yen.

    BIzen Pottery Art Museum
    Related to:
    • Historical Travel
    • Museum Visits
    • Arts and Culture

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Bizen Transportation

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    by Rabbityama Written Jun 16, 2012

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    Bizen has two train lines that run through it and they are not connected, so which you take will depend on where you want to go.

    On the JR Sanyo Line, the stations in Bizen are:
    -Mitsuishi Station: Mitani Falls
    Yoshinaga Station: Shizutani School, Renga Hiroba, Hattoji Village

    On the JR Ako Line, which runs from Aioi Station in Hyogo Prefecture to Higashiokayama, the stations within Bizen are Sogo, Hinase, Iri, Bizen Katakami, Nishikatakami, Inbe, and Kagato Stations.
    Some of the more important ones for tourists with nearby sites are:
    -Hinase: Hinase Port, Bizen Chunanbei Museum (Latin America Museum)
    -Nishikatakami: Near the start of the Katakami Roman Kaido Cycling Path
    -Inbe: Bizen Pottery Museum, Bizen Pottery Center

    Related to:
    • Trains
    • Study Abroad
    • Road Trip

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