Asahiyaki is a pottery maker with a 400-year history situated in Uji, a small city south of Kyoto which is mostly famous for Byodo-in temple, Ujigami-jinja shrine (both are UNESCO World Heritage sites) and tea plantations. The company’s shop & gallery was relocated to a renovated traditional house and opened on July 15, 2017. The photos were taken in October, so don’t be surprised to see greenery outside!
First of all, just look at this gorgeous interior. Large windows offer a great view of Uji River with its red bridge and invite the light inside. Even in grey cloudy weather the shop was bathing in light. The beamed ceiling and traditional elements like wood for floors and furniture, or washi paper, earthen wall and tatami for the tokonoma corner, go perfectly well with the modern touch added by dark tiled floor at the entrance, white walls and suspended lighting over the table for tea drinking.
We were kindly offered some local green tea. A perfect afternoon moment in a soft-coloured interior with a breathtaking view and a cup of delicious tea in a beautiful cup, what can be better for our busy lives?
Asahiyaki is specializing primarily in both traditional tea ceremony utensils and casual teaware. Bowls, cups, plates, flower vases and even cute ceramic shishi lion-dogs – there is always something for everybody. For firing its pottery, Asahiyaki uses a gas kiln and sometimes the traditional climbing kiln (noborigama). The later is used only two or three times per year, and each time the firing spans 3 days. For those who are interested in this process, here’s the article written by Yuji Yonehara for Kyoto Crafts Magazine.