Friday, October 23, 2015

National Pottery Market, Ueno Park, Ueno, Tokyo (Picture heavy!)

Enormous post ahead! Clickable photos = zoom.

On one fine September Saturday at the end of Silver Week, hubby and I decided to go see the Monet Exhibition at the Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum right by Ueno Park

There was also a Gundam-related exhibition there at Ueno Park, although not the same Gundam Exhibition at the Roppongi Mori Tower. This one focuses specifically on the mechanical designs (character design for robots) of Okawara Kunio. Having been all Gundam-ed out the night before, we passed ^.^

And because it was the end of Silver Week, the whole area was pretty much packed in all directions.

We walked straight over to the Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum stumbled onto this giant pinball ^.^ Of course we took pictures of it, and of ourselves reflecting in it!

But then we got to the museum and saw that the line was wrapping out the door and the wait time was at least 30 minutes, we turned around. Monet can wait :P And plus the exhibition goes until December and we have plenty of time to see until then. Then we thought about going to the Tokyo National Museum instead, but we decided against the featured exhibition of Bvlgari jewelries there also. 

Panda tour-bus in front of Tokyo National Museum ^.^

The highlight of our Saturday ended up being this massive National Pottery Market, which opened only during September 19-23 of Silver Week. Well, actually it was a highlight just for me, because 10 minutes into browsing hubby got bored and went home LOL! 

Here's your warning: look away now if you're a pottery/ceramic-ware hoarder like me. 

Being at this market tested my willpower beyond belief. I wanted to buy everything, because everything was just gorgeous, somewhat affordable, and mostly (hopefully) made in Japan! Somehow, I survived the test having escaped unscathed with just a few items. Enjoy the pottery photo-fest!

While most of the items displayed are generally pleasing to the eyes, some of them do stand out as a collection. Here are some of my favorites.

Under the sea theme.

Love these and have no words to describe them ^.^ Looks like a mix of washi prints and modern geometric designs.

Mod geometric patterns.

"Chinese-influenced" designs.

"Japanese-influenced" designs.

More Japanese-influenced designs, with a pink plate (middle) that seemed to not belong. Perhaps it was put in the wrong section? It was gorgeous though!

Daruma designs.

Other collections that didn't wow me but still noteworthy.

Okinawan flavor.

These green ones stood out because the vast majority were blue or blue on white.

Slate on black.

Rustic stone appearance.

I wasn't too fond of these, but surely someone finds them beautiful.

Of course there were lots of designs with animals, with owls, cats, dogs, etc.

Other general pretties with some closeups.

All the tea pots, cups, and mugs you can stand! Oddly enough, I was on the look out for mugs and cups for our pantry but none spoke to me. May it was the sensory overload. 

Loved the variety of teapots though and wished they were more "travel-friendly". Take these ones with very stylistic top-hook handles, for example, or those with the Chinese-medicine-pot side handles. How the hell should I pack them so that I don't come home with a handle-less teapot?

Anyway, after seeing so many teapots, they all sort of blend together, with just this baby grabbing my attention. I didn't see anything else remotely similar to its quiet and understated sakura print (hand-painted!). There was only one of it on display, hidden is a corner most people don't notice. So it became mine ^.^

A gazillion of chopsticks and spoons, wooden and ceramic.

Chopstick rests.

Wooden bento boxes, lacquered wood bowls, and ceramic tubberwares.

Flower vases, bases, and stands, and mosquito coils, even instruments of torture gardening tools!

Miscellaneous items like ceramic spray bottles, piggy banks, maneki neko, owls(?), incense holders, etc.

Of course there were collector's items with price tags well into the thousands!

On the way home, I spotted some gorgeous red spider lilies (Lycoris Radiata, or 彼岸花-higanbana or 石蒜-shisuan) in full bloom! My favorite flower, truly.

My loot of the day below, with the plates in pairs. As you can see, I was restraint. This is because whatever I buy now I will have to figure out how to lug home. So I'm buying only the things I absolutely love and it has to be pack-able. The chopsticks are really neat, each made from a different type of wood as labeled on the package, all sealed with urushi lacquer. The porcelain tea/dessert spoons are adorable with different kitty prints. I use them every week along with the plates and the teapot. Love them all so much!

Good lord this post took forever to write--a whole week!


Citrine said...

I think I like the two cat and dog bowls but I am really glad that I scored the few Japanese manekineko bowls (they are more cartoonish than the standard type) in marshalls...I think I am set with kitchenware (because I will move eventually as well and I absolutely will keep them with me for as long as possible) but I would use more figure forks and spoons.

D. said...

Hey Citrine!

Oh interesting! I didn't see any manekineko bowls at the market or I would have totally grab a pair! Have you done a post on your kawaii bowls and plates yet? You should!


Citrine said...

Will do when the weather clears up. I actually don't have any cute japanese plate (saw one with the matching manekineko prints but I already had four bowls in that series so I wanted more variety instead of real whole set).

D. said...

I see. Interestingly enough, my girl cousin who also loves ceramic/pottery also buys in fours, so may be I'm the odd duck who buys in pairs. But yeah, because I buy in pairs that I can get both the plates and bowls, 2 of each ^.^

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