Activities - Arts & Crafts

Matsushiro-yaki Pottery Lesson
Matsushiro Touen : 松代陶苑

Create an Original Piece of Matsushiro-yaki, Nagano’s Premier Pottery Style.

Northern Nagano


Matsushiro-yaki is a style of pottery based in the Matsushiro district of Nagano City. With it's distinctive blue and green tint, it can be found in households and restaurants throughout northern Nagano. The people at the Matsui Kiln (aka Matsushiro Touen) offers lessons in throwing pottery -- a fantastic chance to experience making Japanese pottery.


Matsushiro-yaki pottery dates back to the mid-Edo period (over 200 years). The local samurai lord decreed kilns be built to make pottery locally, as ceramics were often cracked during transportation over the mountains to Nagano. Using the local iron-rich mineral water, locally-sourced clay, and local all-natural materials for the glaze, Matsushiro-yaki has a unique greenish-blue wavy tint after firing.
Matsushiro Touen (the Matsui kiln) staff provide lessons in pottery, from the pinch method (suitable for beginners) to using an electric potter's wheel. A potter's wheel is a more authentic pottery experience, but requires patience and an artistic touch. It is also fairly expensive, so it's not recommended for everyone.


  • 20
  • 3
  • 60 people
  • Attendant required.
Closed Sundays and Mondays with some irregularity. Verify ahead of time.
Cost / Price of Admission
From 1,500 for making a tea cup using the pinch method. From 2,500 using the coil method. From 5,000 for wheel throwing.
Time Required
Credit Cards
VISA, MasterCard
Required(Required. Telephone (Japanese Language only) or website form
# of Participants
1-5 for wheel throwing. 1-30 for coil method. 1-60 for pinch method.
Luggage Storage
Not Available


Instructors are used to using body language in teaching non-Japanese speakers. Pottery making lessons cover shaping the pottery. Prepping for the kiln and applying the glaze is done by the staff. Firing and drying takes approx. 1 month. After dried, pottery can be made available for pick-up or mailed out (extra charges applied; mailing overseas difficult).


tel : +81(0)26-278-7302fax : +81(0)26-278-5143Official site

Access / Location

By Train
From Yashiro Station (Shinano Railway), Take the Nagaden bus bound for Suzaka to Dojima (道島) stop (approx. 20 min.)
Alternatively, from Nagano Station, take the Kawanakajima bus bound for Matsushiro, transfer at the Matsushiro Station stop to the Nagaden bus bound for Yashiro, and get off at the Dojima stop.
By Car
From Nagano IC, Take Route 403 west to Route 358 (Nakadojima signal) and turn left. Kiln on the left. (3km, 5 min.)
2120 Kiyono, Matsushiro-machi, Nagano 381-1233

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