Close this search box.

Hirashimizu Sake and Ceramics

Experience making your own pottery and tasting the best local sake in Yamagata.

Hirashizmizu is an ancient pottery village at the edge of Yamagata City, surrounded by nature, and today, home to a variety of artisanal shops and traditional craftsmen. This experience is a great introduction to the village, all the while getting to make your own pottery and enjoy a special sake tasting profiling the best local brews.

Experience Hirashimizu Sake and Ceramics

What's Included

Regular, Tasting and Long Courses include:
A hands-on ceramic experience a historic Hirashimizu kiln.
We can ship your handmade dish to you anywhere in the world (postage fees provided by you)
Tour of kiln and ceramics showroom.
Guided sake tasting at La Jomon boutique.

Tasting course exclusively includes:
A deeper lecture about sake pairing with different foods
Guided sake pairing session with hand-picked Japanese sweets and fruit.

Long Course exclusively includes:
A deeper lecture and sake tasting session
A tour of Kameya silk crafts shop and storehouse
Walk through Heisenji Temple.


Regular course: ¥17,000 per person
Tasting course: ¥25,000 per person
Long course: ¥28,000 per person

Experience Availability

Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays

Average Duration

Regular course: around 3 hours
Tasting course: around 4 hours
Long course: around 6 hours

Meeting Location

A famous Hirashimizu Kiln (details given at time of booking)

Minimum number of participants

2 people

Important notes

Experience availability may vary. Reserve to confirm availability.
Please notify us at least 3 days before if you must cancel or modify your reservation.

Regular Course

¥17,000 per person. Duration ~3 hours.
We’ll start the tour at a famous pottery workshop, one of the only two remaining artisan kilns in the village. Having been in the same family for over 150 years and seven generations, it is a kiln rich in history. While the style of pottery created here has changed over time, the methods and materials are still quite traditional. You’ll get to see some beautiful examples of the kinds of ceramicware produced today, and then get a chance to try your hand at the craft.

The on-site ceramics experience is great fun for all ages, and no prior pottery-making experience is necessary. Because the raw materials (taken from the nearby mountain, Chitoseyama) have certain unique characteristics, the molding method is also somewhat different from conventional pottery. But your guide will show you everything you need to know to make a beautiful souvenir, be it a dish, bowl, or your own personal sake cup! After the class, we’ll take a quick tour of the facility, and you’ll see how your work of art will be finished up. (The pottery does take additional time to dry, glaze, and bake, but we can ship your handmade dish straight to your home, anywhere in the world. Please bring cash to fund the postage fees home if you desire this.)

Next, we’ll pop into the showroom, displaying a variety of items and styles, as well as some rare antiquities from the early age of ceramics production at the kiln. Today the  kilns are gas-fired, but one ancient wood-fired kiln remains on the site, however is only used once or twice a year. In the showroom, you can also see (and buy) examples of the pottery from this kiln, whose color and texture come completely from a natural ashing process inside the kiln.

While a pottery cottage industry once flourished here, now several different trades and artisan shops call Hirashimizu home. Just a block up the street, we’ll head to one such shop, La Jomon, an intimate sake boutique specializing in rare, pure rice wine sakes (and all-locally produced drinking snacks.) Learn about Japanese sake by tasting five types of sake for yourself.

Tasting Course

¥25,000 per person. Duration ~4 hours.
The pottery portion of the tasting course matches the regular course; create your own one-of-a-kind ceramics at a kiln in Hirashimizu, which has been preserving the history and tradition of Hirashimizu ware for around 200 years and counting. Please ready cash if you desire to have your ceramics posted to you after1.5 months, after they are glazed and baked.

Afterwards, undertake an in-depth lecture about sake at a sake store owned by the same family as the pottery store, which specializes in junmai sake. This lecture will give you the knowledge you need to make the sake you drink at restaurants or at home taste even better than usual. If available, the owner of La Jomon, a certified Sake Expert Assessor, NRIB, will carefully select five different types of sake according to your tastes and preferences. While tasting sake, you will enjoy pairing sake with Japanese sweets and fruits. The lecture will increase your knowledge about sake, and you will be able to experience sake with your five senses, enjoyed in a different way than usual. Sake that you enjoyed can be purchased at the sake expert’s store after the pairing experience.  

Long Course

¥28,000 per person Duration: ~6 hours.
While still maintaining the standard Hirashimizu course to keep this experience accessible to everyone, we have also created a longer course option to give visitors a deeper experience into this village. 

This course includes what the regular course offers, with additional experiences.

This includes a deeper lecture in a private room behind the workshop which will explore the flavors and unique attributes of Yamagata’s finest sake accompanied of course by tasting throughout the lesson.  

After the sake course, we will visit Kameya, an acclaimed silk crafts shop that produces high-end silk products using silk and dyes produced entirely in Yamagata Prefecture.  Here you will meet the family that has run this shop for generations including a visit to their storehouse to see and learn about some of their prized family heirlooms demonstrating the finest of Yamagata’s master craftsmanship. 

Lastly, finish your tour with a peaceful walk of Heisenji temple.

Hirashimizu sake and ceramic experience reservations

You can send a booking inquiry for your experience below. After we receive your inquiry, we will confirm the booking with our partners and send you a booking confirmation email at least 3 days before your desired date.
Please note this form does not confirm the availability of an experience or reserves an experience straightaway.

Cancelation policy

Our general cancelation policy for our experiences is below. Cancelation fees may vary according to exceptional circumstances.

3 business days before date of experience


2 business days before date of experience

30% of total price

1 business day before date of experience

50% of total price

Same day

100% of total price