Located about 1 hour north of Tsukuba, Kasama is one of the two premier pottery sites in the Kanto region (the other being Mashiko a similar distance to the north west). Pottery lovers will be delighted by the new exhibition site adjacent to the 'Geijutsu no Mori Koen' (Art Forest Park) just to the east of town. The park itself is a newly developing complex of broad fields and rolling hills with interesting carvings and other 'modern art' type things, along with an outdoor concert stage.
The exhibition site includes a large brick kiln for firing pottery and a series of buildings with a elevated walkway connecting them from which you can look down on artisans at various stages of work in putting the finished products. There is also a large display room filled with unusual pottery and a section where you can buy various 'yakimono' (literally 'burnt things', but not referring to such things as what sometimes happens to my toast).
The easiest way to get there from Tsukuba is to get onto to the road going over the ridge of mountains between Mt. Tsukuba and Tsuchiura and just keep straight on it until you enter Kasama. The road dead-ends just after you cross the tracks. Turn right and then right again at the first light. That puts you on 'Yakimono Doori' (route 355), with numerous pottery stores on your left. Take the next main road to the left (about 1 km) and then enter the park to the right a short distance down. The new exhibition site is up the hill on the left.
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