Tucked away in an out-of-the-way part of Tsukuba near the point were Tsuchiura-Gakuen Sen crosses over the Joban Expressway, Togeisha (literally Pottery House) is an interesting complex of picturesque farm buildings and gardens. The complex includes an art gallery, where some items can be purchased, and a tea house/restaurant in a large farm house called "Rural House Kisse" where you can enjoy tea or even a meal surrounded by pottery works of art.
Togeisha has available numerous pottery wheels along with, of course, the artisans to run them, and they offer everything from a 3-hour "pottery experience" to long-term regular classes. While the language barrier affects many other activities, this is one hands-on activity that doesn't require a whole lot of fluency. Nevertheless, they do have some artisans who are capable of explaining the basics in both English and French, if you choose a time when they are there.
The "pottery experience" can usually be done most any day except Wednesdays (when they are closed), but it is always best to make an appointment. The times they specifically set aside for this, however, are Tuesdays and Saturdays, 9:30 - 12:00, 1:30 to 4:00 and 6:30 to 9:00 pm along with Sundays for the morning and afternoon sessions. The cost is ´3000, which includes all materials and instruction. You, of course, get to keep what you make. The address is Kisse 1679-1 and the telephone numbers are 0298-57-7224 and fax 57-3927.
In order to find the place, the easiest way is to follow Tsuchiura-Gakuen Sen to the light just before the Red Lobster restaurant (where the road slopes up to go over a hill). Turn right at the light and proceed about 500 m more or less straight (with a slight bending to the right). You can also approach it from the opposite side, but you'll need a detailed map, as there are many small, unmarked roads to get confused on (Welcome To Japan!).
The International Women's Network (IWN) is a group of women who enjoy chatting with people from all over the world. We hold a monthly potluck dinner where we exchange information about the local community while eating a variety of foods. No reservation is needed to attend the potluck. Just bring one dish of food and show up at the meeting. Newcomers are always welcome! Take advantage of this unique opportunity to enjoy the international city of Tsukuba with us!
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