Discover Hakone: Making Ceramics at Crafthouse

In February we sent out our Hakone themed box featuring beautiful Mt. Fuji bowls and cups. To put together an awesome itinerary for you guys we took a two day trip to Hakone and enjoyed the breath-taking scenery, steamy onsens (natural hot-spas), relaxing vibes and even a ceramic workshop! Each month Neko Box subscribers receive KAWA – a fully illustrated itinerary to travel hotspots in Japan. Our easy-to-follow guides are essential for planning your next vacation. From accessible accommodation to must-see attractions, KAWA helps you enjoy discovering Japan as much as we do. Subscribe today to experience Japan together!

Mt. Fuji seen from Lake Ashi.

Every now and then it's great to take a little breather from daily life. Only two hours by train from Tokyo, Hakone is the perfect spot to get your holiday into motion. Hakone is famous for it's rich history, impressive views of Mt. Fuji, traditional hotels (ryokan) and naturally heated spas (onsens.) Once you arrive at Hakone however, there are plenty of fantastic surprises awaiting you! From historic Edo outposts to European-influenced gardens, your trip to the home of Mt. Fuji is guaranteed to be memorable. 

Hakone Sekisho – a faithfully restored Edo period outpost. Illustration featured in KAWA.

Hakone Sekisho – a faithfully restored Edo period outpost. Illustration featured in KAWA.

Ride a gondola along the scenic hakone ropeway.

Inside our Ryokan – a traditional Japanese Hotel.

Crafthouse

While exploring Gora park we came across the highlight of our trip – Crafthouse. This workshop and gallery is a hub for local ceramic artists to present their creations and an opportunity for curious tourists to try their hand at making their own. 

The shop can be found on the top floor where various glass, ceramic and dry flower works are available for purchase. The craftsmanship and selection of modern and traditional Japanese designs are bound to impress! 

Ceramics available to buy from Crafthouse.

Head downstairs and you will find the workshop. Crafthouse hosts a variety of glass and ceramic crafting classes. Make a booking with the friendly English-speaking staff and join the next available session. We went on a popular day where many tourists were eager to book a class, but we had no problems choosing a time slot that suited us. 

A crafthouse class in action – perfect for beginners wanting a memorable experience in hakone.

from the workshop floor – try crafting your own souvenir! 

We were excited to try a pottery wheel class – something we always wanted to do! We joined a small group of other tourists and got straight into making. Our teacher was very helpful, offering suggestions throughout and demonstrating effective techniques for beginners. The atmosphere was fun and friendly  Over the 30-minute session we created as many pieces as we wanted, from small cups to medium sized bowls. 

Ready to take your creations home? Crafthouse offers a fantastic finishing and delivery service. Choose one (or more) of your works created during the session and a Crafthouse artisan will finish the process by firing it, then glazing it to your order. Our teacher took us through the order form with the help of an English guide. The results will be safely shipped to you within 2 months time – international orders welcomed! We chose a mint crackle glaze and gold rim finish and loved the results. 

Crafthouse will finish your creations and mail them directly to your door.

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http://www.crafthouse.org/

Opening hours: 9am-5pm daily

Google Map Location

We had a fantastic time at Crafthouse and fully appreciate the experience they offer visitors to Hakone and craft-lovers alike. What better way to personalise your journey than with hand-made pottery? Japan is full of memorable experiences just waiting to be stumbled upon – we can't wait to share our next adventure! Make sure to join us in the next issue of KAWA – your illustrated guide to Japan.