Tokoname City is located on the west coast of the Chita Peninsula in Aichi Prefecture. Tokoname Pottery, one of the six oldest kilns in Japan, is famous throughout Japan, and the ceramic industry is the city's largest industry.Tokoname has many spots where you can see, touch, and experience pottery culture. This time, we will take you on a leisurely tour of the retro yet new pottery town of Tokoname. Say hello to the giant beckoning cat! Visit the guardian Cat "Tokonyan" & "Manekineko Street" Tokoname is Japan's largest producer of Manekineko, so called beckoning cats. Walking around the city, you can find cat figurines on the parapets of bridges, on mailboxes, and in other casual places. About five minutes east of Tokoname Station on the Meitetsu Line, on the way to the Tokoname Pottery Hall, a tourist information window that also displays and sells Tokoname ware, you will be greeted by many beckoning cats that seem to pop out from the concrete walls. This area is called "Manekineko Dori" (beckoning cat street), and 39 "Gosho ceramic beckoning cats" created by 39 ceramic artists with ties to Tokoname City greet passersby. Each one has a different shape according to the artist's style, and the expression and coloring are also very unique. Each piece is said to have its own special blessing, such as "marriage" or "fulfillment of wishes".If you make a heartfelt request one by one, 39 of your requests may be granted. The guardian cats Tokonyan, watch over Tokoname City from the top of the wall. Tokonyan is a giant beckoning cat measuring 6.3 meters wide and 3.8 meters high.This face is called the "Tokoname-style beckoning cat" with "big ears," "fair face," and "big droopy eyes," and is said to be the standard face of the modern beckoning cat. Its face looks harsh on the outside and friendly on the inside which is kind of cute. Some cats stare at Tokonyan curiously, while others relax here and there.In fact, there are 11 cats in total, all of which are made to look just like the real thing. You might need to look twice to understand that those are not real cats.Even if you are not a cat lover, this is a soothing spot that will make you stop and take a look. Take a walk along the "Pottery Footpath" where the aroma of history and culture remains. The "Pottery Walk" is a walking course located on a small hill in the city center, and is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Tokoname.Try out these half or one-day courses to explore the best of the city.Many visitors first take course A to explore the streets of Tokoname, and then take course B or just visit every facility they want. Half Day Course One Day Course The Pottery Footpath (Yakimono Walkway) course is filled with sights that make you stop in your tracks, such as a wall lined with many earthenware pipes, towering brick chimneys, and a geometric pattern of slopes embedded with ceramic waste.The maze of streets is dotted with historical buildings such as the "Wholesale Merchant Takida family," a restored residence of a shipping broker, and the "Toei climbing kiln," one of the largest climbing kilns still in existence in Japan. On the other hand, there are statues of cats and Jizo (guardian deity of children) along the way, as well as general stores and cafes selling Tokoname pottery.It is a stylish and cute walkway where the old meets the new in a perfect blend. ≪Ceramic Hall≫ 【Address】3-8 Sakaemachi, Tokoname City, Aichi Prefecture (Starting point where maps of walking paths are distributed) 【Access】5 minutes walk from Meitetsu "Tokoname station" Take a petit toilet as a souvenir! "INAX Live Museum" packed with different exhibitions and hands-on activities. After walking along the Pottery Footpath, try one more spot - the INAX Live Museum.This is a hands-on museum created by INAX, a manufacturer of bathroom and other ceramics.There are six pavilions on the site: "World Tile Museum," "Soil and Mud Pavilion," "Kiln Plaza and Museum," "Ceramic Workshop," "Manufacturing Workshop," and "Architectural Ceramics Hall," as well as a museum store, restaurant, and more. Let us introduce you to the highlights of the INAX Live Museum, based on the theme "See, Touch, Feel, Learn, and Create. The first and foremost attraction under the theme of "Watching" is the World Tile Museum.About 1,000 tiles from B.C. to modern times from Egypt, Islam, Spain, Holland, China, Japan, and other countries are exhibited, with a focus on decorative tiles that decorate walls and ceilings. The history and development of decorative tiles are also introduced.Each tile is a work of art with its vivid colors, intricate shapes, and detailed carvings that are so beautiful that it is hard not to be enraptured by them. Next, "Touch and Create" can be experienced at the Soil and Mud Pavilion and the Ceramic Studio. These are the most popular spots in the museum.At the "DMud Pavilion" visitors can make their own original "glowing mud ball" and "clay pastels," and at the "Togaku Kobo," they can experience "mosaic deco" and "tile painting" using tiles, as well as INAX's cute "petit toilet painting".Both adults and children will lose track of time and be fascinated here. Petit toilets are also available in the museum store, so if you don't have time to make your own, you can buy one and enjoy them at home.The INAX Museum also offers many other original goods related to restrooms, such as original tenugui hand towels and toilet paper, which can only be purchased here.The museum offers a wide range of exhibits about toilets, from historically valuable items to unique designs, providing a different and enjoyable experience. 【Address】1-130 Okueicho, Tokoname City, Aichi Prefecture 【Open Hours】10:00 - 17:00 (admission is until 16:30) 【Holidays】Wednesday (open if it is a national holiday), year-end and New Year holidays 【Access】From "Chubu International Airport" or "Tokoname Station" on the Meitetsu Line, take the Chita Bus bound for "Chitahanda Station" and get off at "INAX Live Museum Mae" and walk for 5 minutes. 【Web site】https://livingculture.lixil.com/en/ You may find a great deal! Ceramall Tokoname Ware Wholesale Complex After strolling along the Pottery Footpath, why not take a short walk to the Ceramall?This Ceramall is one of the few ceramics shopping malls in Japan with 12 pottery wholesale specialty stores on a 50,000 m2 site, making it a great place to buy souvenirs. A wide range of products are available, including works by Tokoname traditional craftsmen, as well as teapots, tea bowls, teacups, and other tableware, which are synonymous with Tokoname ware, everyday items, kimonos, and sundries. All of the stores are wholesalers, so their prices are more reasonable than on the market.Some stores sell pottery from outside Tokoname, foreign goods, and even outlet goods, so you may be able to find unexpected bargains. This is a shopping mall where you are in great danger of loosening your purse strings! 【Address】99 Kamisuhara, Kanayama, Tokoname City, Aichi Prefecture 【Open Hours】9:00 to 17:00 * Business hours vary from store to store. 【Holidays】open all year round 【Access】From "Nagoya Station" on the Meitetsu Line, get off at "Tokoname Station" on the Tokoname Line. About 10 minutes by taxi from Tokoname Station 【Web site (Japanese)】http://www.ceramall.or.jp/ Tokoname is a town that embodies the phrase, "Learn the old and appreciate the new". Enjoy the deep world of pottery from various angles, including the streets, museums, hands-on experience, shopping, and more.