Archive for food

Hands-on at Tsugaru Kanayama-yaki

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , on June 17, 2010 by Zack

Aomori is no different from most other places in Japan with respect to the fact that it is home to an amazing local pottery culture. The most famous of which, is undoubtedly the Tsugaru Kanayama-yaki type of pottery nestled in the quiet mountainside of Goshogawara City. The pottery here is known for its deep earthy quality that ranges from hues of copper brown to a rusted iron red.

Kanayama-yaki Horse complete with Jomon patterns

The entire site houses several huge kilns, a gallery, classrooms, cafe, as well as many works of pottery on display amid many of the beautiful flowers in bloom in the gardens.

Gallery featuring a great selection of works for sale
Cafe Patata

If you arrive hungry, I recommend you try your hand at making your own pizza at Patata, the relaxing cafe on site. The cafe staff will guide you through the process, and you can choose your own toppings to create your own original pizza. Of course they also have some uniquely Japanese ingredients, such as shimeji mushrooms, corn, and mayonnaise, so why you are at it you might consider getting experimental.

Pizza Ovens
Fresh from the oven!

After a delicious lunch you can sign up for a hands-on pottery lesson Kanayama-yaki style. A friendly pottery instructor is available to help you through the process in making just about anything you want. With some patience and some perseverance you can have a wonderful cup or beer mug. After carving your name on the bottom, they will fire your creation in the kiln, however it usually takes about 2 months before it is ready. I was told that the mineral content and porous nature of the clay are said to enhance the flavor of the water or beer you put into the dish, I can’t wait to try it out.

Ready for the kiln

Pottery can actually be quite intense and tiring, especially if it is your first time, so you might work up an appetite for one of the many delicious desserts they have at the cafe. Highly popular, their ice cream is served with a garnish of freshly-ground coffee beans on the side, is a wonderful treat served in Kanayama-yaki dishes.

A sweet finish!

I highly recommend spending at least a few hours at Tsugaru Kanayama-yaki enjoying all there is to do here. Open all year round, from 9 am to 5 pm, Tsugaru Kanayama-yaki is a great way to spend a day in Goshogawara filled with creativity and delicious eats!