Ontayaki -works of Japanese pottery- in Oita

During my summer vacation, I visited a small village in the mountain, the home of Ontayaki.

Since its opening of kiln 300 years ago, Ontayaki pottery had established its simple yet tasteful style with history.
In the villages hidden in the mountains of Hita City Oita prefecture, ten kilns still operate in the same procedure and produce the pottery which are mostly used in casual, everyday settings.
The potter's clay is taken from the nearby mountains, and using the water from the stream, they are in small pieces after being grinded in the millstone. Then, the draining and grinding continue for few times until the clay is fine and smooth.
After the grinding, the craftsmen will use potter's wheel with their feet and form a shape and then they are put in the kiln to complete the process. There are no machines or any automated devices used for Ontayaki.

The traditional way of making Ontayaki, and the skills being passed on to the younger generation, it was enlisted in Japan's Important Intangible Cultural Asset in 1993.
Ontayakino sato (home of Ontayaki) has slower pace of life with the sound of streams and the millstone making the clay are the only sounds heard in the area.

make the clay with the millstone

mix and dry the clay



There are buses from JR Hita station to Onta Sarayama, the bus takes 40 minutes, costs 760 yen for one way. It takes 3 hours 14 minutes from Beppu to Hita by JR local train. Hita is located between Beppu and Kokura (Fukuoka).


Elise said…
Good explanation and photos, Perfect Japanese Design.
Here, a gallery in Paris, which has nice japanese art pieces:
Yakimono Japanese Ceramics

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