|Traces of Shigaraki-no-miya Palace
Shigaraki-no-miya-a designated historical landmark-formerly as the detached palace of Emperor Shoumu and was built on a mountainous area now covered with thickets. In Tenpyo 14 (742), Shomu built this imperial villa, while making the wish to cast a large image of the Buddha in this area. After several ceremonial events, he decreed this residence the Imperial Palace. However, two years later, in Tenpyo 16, the capital moved to Nara, and as a result, the Great Buddha was consecrated at Todai-ji Temple in Nara.
Today, only a few foundation stones of this former palace remain. As the historical beginnings of Shigaraki, this land evokes the imagination of an era now long gone.
This ancient shrin is situated near the top of Mount Hando, which sits between the towns of Minakuchi and Kosei. Built in the Nara Period, hando Shrin prospered as a sacred place for mountain ascetics. Later, this shrin was destroyed in a mountain fire. The main shrine building, which was rebuilt in the early Edo period, is reminiscent of the ornate style of the Momoyama Period and has been designated as an Important Cultural Property in Japan.
A thirty-minute walk from the foot to the shrine, this area-once known as the training grounds for the Koga-style ninjas-can be reached through a somewhat steep mountain path. The unforgettable view from near the mountaintop displays nature at its best.
The ruins of an old temple can be found atop Sasagaoka Hill near the border of Mie Prefecture. According to legend, a golden rooster that proclaimed happiness on the morning of the New Year lived by Aka Ike, a pond on the temple precincts. The name, Keimei no Taki, the Fall of the Roosters Cry, comes from this story.
Keimei Fall is located approximately ten minutes from the center of town. As you climb up the quiet forested path, you can hear its roaring sound and see its iridescent mist. Your heart and mind will be refreshed by the cool feeling and beauty of this fall.
|The Shigaraki Ceramic Park
At the Shigaraki Ceramic Cultural Park-on a hill overlooking the town of Shigaraki-one can find resources on Shigaraki ware. The Exhibition Hall of Industrial Ceramics introduces and displays Shigaraki ceramics. The Institute of Ceramic Studies is a center, where potters can train and study traditional and contemporary ceramics. Art offers various ceramic exhibitions.
This year marks the 10th anniversary of this facility, which serves as a place for international exchange and as a cultural park bringing together together people, ceramics, and information. One can enjoy the natural beauty of the nearby forest by visiting the outdoor exhibition space and by strolling through their walking course.
|The Traditional Craft Center of Shigaraki
This center introduces the history and contemporary movements in Shigaraki ware. You can see pieces from as early as the Tenpyo period as well as innovative works by contemporary artists. You can visually trace the steps of this traditional ware here.