Yamaderayaki Nagase Tōbō

Connect with Yamagata's historic pottery tradition

山寺焼 ながせ陶房 | Yamaderayaki Nagase Tōbō

Photo by Nishant Annu

Photo by Nishant Annu

Photo by Yamaderayaki

Photo by Nishant Annu

Yamaderayaki was founded in 1988 by Minoru Nagase, a Yamagata local who started the workshop as an expression of his passion for craftsmanship. “What drew me to pottery,” Nagase says, “was the idea of being able to visualize something in my mind and realize that vision with my own two hands; to create something from nothing. I started Yamaderayaki because I wanted to create pieces that captured the essence of this place.”

Perhaps it is from the shop’s location at the foot of Yamadera, Nagase’s workshop seems to have an innate sense of spirituality. In the store you’ll find a collection of meticulously crafted, beautifully finished ceramics ranging from everyday tableware to more decorative works of art.

If you’re interested in learning a little bit about the craft under a guidance of a master, you can also take part in Nagase’s ceramic workshop. Using traditional tools, and techniques that have been passed down through the generations, you can try your hand at making your own cup or bowl. Ceramics take several weeks to cure, however, so you’ll either need to arrange to come back to pick up your creation or have it sent to an address in Japan.

Whether or not you decide to take part in a workshop, Yamaderayaki is well worth a visit just to meet Nagase and his wife. They are personable, warm, welcome guests from all over the world with a smile. If you have even a passing interest in ceramics, you’ll love this place.

Reviews from Google Maps

It's my first time making my own cup, the sensei teached me well and the whole process was fun and active. There were a few cats accompanying me while I was making the cup.

シューヤンチャオ ★★★★☆




4469 Yamadera, Yamagata, 999-3301


Japanese only




Required for pottery workshop