Pure artistry in the form of pottery

Konishi Toko & Gallery Tozo

bizen city, okayama prefecture, visitwestjapan
Photographer | Takuma Kimura


The informative brochure from Konishi Toko explains, in the world of traditional Japanese pottery, there are Kamamoto (factories) and Sakka (artists). It goes on to insist that Konishi Toko is a factory where many craftspeople produce the work, so no one can put their name on a particular piece.

However, if you visit the Konishi Toko shop and the gallery across the street, you will have no doubt about the pure artistry that goes into their pottery. They craft clay into forms, colors and shades that would be unfamiliar to even the most ardent fan of Bizen pottery.

The “factory”, Konishi Toko has its own well-stocked gallery full of some of the most unique creations ever brought to life in Bizen pottery form. Find a figurine of your sign on the Chinese zodiac to take it home as a keepsake.

The shop staff explains that the many vessels that they produce add flavor and precious minerals to any beverage placed inside after sitting for a few days.

Konishi Toko produces fine examples of the following coloring techniques:

Hidasuki-pieces fired after being wrapped in soft straw

Ao-Bizen-blue color achieved after pottery is covered by charcoal at the end of the firing

San-Giri-special firing that produces a variety of colors

Goma-sesame seed appearance of the glaze from the ash of red pine

Hai Kaburi-extreme glaze achieved at the mouth of the fire

No matter what purpose a particular piece may seem to have, Konishi Toko and Gallery Tozo’s philosophy is that the way the pottery is used is up to you. The key is to use it because using it actually enhances its beauty.

Access: Take the JR Ako Line from JR Okayama Station to JR Imbe Station. Konishi Toko and Gallery Tozo are about a 4-5 minute walk from JR Imbe Station (The gallery is directly across from Konishi Toko).



Bizen City is a historically cultural hub in southeastern Okayama Prefecture. Famous for its pottery, Bizen is an old town that incorporates the ancient pottery town of Inbe as well as the Hinase and Yoshinaga districts.

Bizen pottery is unglazed and is one of the six remaining oldest kilns in Japan. Bizen pottery exemplifies the concept of wabi-sabi and is therefore popular with many tea ceremony and flower arrangement practitioners. Visitors can try their hand at making their own piece of Bizen pottery, or enjoy wandering through the myriad of pottery shops.

In Bizen City, guests can visit Shizutani School: established in 1701, it is the oldest public school in the country for commoners. The roof tiles are made entirely of Bizen pottery, and the surrounding trees and natural scenery give the school its name (“quiet valley”). The auditorium of Shizutani School is a National Treasure.

The Hinase region is known for its delicious oysters and citrus fruit, as well as for beautiful sunsets over the Seto Inland Sea, while the Yoshinaga area is known for the historical Hattoji district, where guests can enjoy the rustic village scenery.

Cancellation Policy

1) Detailed tour information & conditions will be given after application is made; please read and confirm the final itinerary before the departure date.
2) Reservations: Fill out the application contact form; application is complete upon payment. Reservations accepted by phone, mail, fax, online, or other communicative methods. The contract is not valid at time of reservation; the customer will be asked to submit an application form and payment within 3 days from time of reservation. If application form and payment are not submitted within the term, the reservation shall be considered void.
3) Items not included in tour price: Transportation costs not included in itinerary, optional tour fees, excess baggage fees, any fees of a personal nature (phone bills, meal costs, etc.) Items excluded from the tour will be stated in the tour information.
4) Cancellation fees: When the application is cancelled by the customer or when payment has not been made by the specified date, Ryobi Tours shall receive a percentage of the per person tour fee as a cancellation fee, or a penalty fee. Differences in room charges that result from one person in a group cancelling shall be charged to the participating person(s).

Cancellation Date Up to 21 days prior 20-8 days prior 7-2 days prior Day prior to start of tour Day of tour After start of tour/non-participation with no contact
Cancellation Fee No charge 20% of tour fee 30% of tour fee 40% of tour fee 50% of tour fee 100% of tour fee