Tokoname is located south of Nagoya city, on the west coast of the Chita Peninsula. This quiet coastal village came to prominence during the Edo period for its prized clay used to make high-quality ceramics.
Tokoname is one of Japan’s oldest pottery towns and is well-known among the natives for high-quality teapots, bonsai pots, and other ceramics. Clay from this area has been used to make ceramics since the 12th century.
During the Edo period, there were over 400 chimneys scattered throughout the town, and it had the first and largest climbing kiln in Japan.
The most popular attraction in Tokoname is their pottery footpath. Many portions of the path are paved with old pieces of pottery, clay pipes from the Meiji era, and clay shochu bottles from the Showa era.
It takes about 2 to 3 hours to walk the path at a leisurely pace. You’ll find local artisans selling their original pieces at small shops along the way. Don’t expect to see demonstrations or artists at work though.
Maneki Neko – Welcome Cat
Tokoname is also famous for the production of the ceramic Welcome Cat that you often see in Japanese shops. As you approach the town, you’ll see a large cat welcoming you to the town.
Getting to Tokoname
You can reach Tokoname in about 30 minutes by train from Nagoya. Be sure to pick up a free map from the Tourist Information Office at Tokoname Station before heading out.
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