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The sights around Inbe Station: the streetscapes of Bizen ware

 

Inbe in Bizen City, Okayama is famous for being the center of Bizen ware production. When you get off the train at JR Inbe Station, the town still looks like it did long ago when Bizen ware was in its heyday.

 

The Bizen Ware Archives are near the station, and just a small stroll through the town will lead you to a plurality of galleries and pottery shops with connections to Bizen ware. These are where you can discover the town that has inherited hundreds of years of tradition.

 

The streetscapes of Bizen ware
The Bizen Ware Traditional Industries Hall and The Bizen Ceramics Museum are well-known as Bizen ware archives in Inbe, and both are not far from Inbe Station. The Bizen Ware Traditional Industries Hall is part of the same building as the station, and you can buy specialty items from Bizen City and works from a variety of Bizen ware artisans.

 

Then, next to Inbe Station is the Bizen Ceramics Museum, which is an art museum that exhibits works, opens them to the public, and collects documents concerning the history of Bizen ware.

 

Looking straight out across the street from the archive building, you will see a road stretching straight in front of the station. This road is called Ekimae-dōri.

 

Just walking down this street, you will surely get the feeling that you have come to the town of Bizen ware. Directory boards highlighting places of interest are made out of Bizen ware, and halfway down the street there is a park made with Bizen ware.

 

 

Take this road north until it dead ends and you will see a road stretching out from east to west. There are many Bizen ware shops and galleries lining this road. In the shop windows, no doubt there will be works of Bizen ware lined up — you will see pots, plates, flower vases, and more on display.

 

Also, if you really look hard, you will notice tiles made out of Bizen ware. Otherwise, you can also experience scenery where the buildings themselves are integrated with Bizen ware, with all parts of the building made from Bizen ware.

 

In the area around Inbe, Bizen City, the town itself is a work of art. You can have a good enough time just looking around at the layout of the town, not just at the Bizen ware products.

 

About the area around Inbe Station
When visiting Inbe, don’t just stroll around the station area and the Bizen ware shops and galleries — take a stroll around the surrounding areas, too. You will surely be able to get a taste of the distinctive atmosphere that surrounds the town where Bizen ware flourished.

 

For example, Amatsu Shrine is a 10-15 minute walk from Inbe Station. This shrine — from the roof tiles to the paintings on the walls — is made entirely of Bizen ware. The shrine itself is a work of Bizen ware, and just by taking it all in you can immerse yourself in the world of Bizen ware.

 

 

In addition, behind Amatsu Shrine, you can find the “Inbe North Great Kiln Remains”, which are the remains of a joint kiln from the Edo Period (1603-1868).

 

The Tenpō Kiln, which is preserved as a Designated Cultural Asset of Bizen City, is also nearby. Look down on the town from around the Tenpō Kiln and you will be able to see several red brick chimneys jutting skywards, highlighting the distinct Bizen ware countryside landscape.

 

In Inbe, Bizen City, there are a lot of earthy-colored buildings because of the Bizen ware, which, in a manner of speaking, means that the history of Bizen ware remains present there. When you get off the train at Inbe station, don’t just buy Bizen ware, try to take everything in and enjoy it all, including the overall vibe of the town.


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