Make Your Own Pottery in Okinawa!

Hello everyone. My name is Zhao and I work as a curator at ESTINATE HOTEL NAHA.

As a curator, I am in charge of providing information to enrich your travel experience, so I can recommend all the places to see and experiences to have within the vicinity of the hotel.

Today I would like to recommend Tsuboya Pottery Ikutouen, which makes pottery you can find at the hotel’s restaurant Estinate Lounge NAHA. You can experience pottery making at Tsuboya Pottery Ikouten’s workshop less than 10 minutes away from the hotel by car.

Click the button below to book your stay at ESTINATE HOTEL NAHA

About Tsuboya Pottery Ikutouen

Tsuboya Pottery Ikutouen Main Store
1-22-33 Tsuboya, Naha, Okinawa, Japan
OPEN 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Holidays: Jan. 1 and 2
Official site

Tsuboya Pottery Ikutouen sells pottery and also offers pottery-making experiences. The company has multiple shops and workshops located within walking distance.

About the Ceramic Art Experience

Ikutouen offers four main types of pottery making experiences: shisa, rokuro, tebineri (hand-building) and egaki (painting).

🌺《Most popular》Shisa making 🌺Duration 60~90 minutes / 3,300 yen (tax included, shipping not included)

If this is your first experience, I recommend the shisa experience because it is an experience that can only be done in Okinawa! The local Okinawan people believe that shisa will protect their homes, so why not make your own shisa and have it watch over your home?

Click here to make a reservation.

My Experience

The Tsuboya Pottery Yachimun Dojo, where you actually experience pottery making, is about a five-minute walk from the main Tsuboya Pottery Kiln Ikutouen. The route along the road is particularly peaceful and beautiful, surrounded by many tropical plants, giving it a tropical rainforest feel.

At the reception desk, you can choose the color, shape, etc. of your shisa. I chose the simplest shisa. The “masked shisa” is popular because it can be hung on a wall or door.

The shipping fee is an additional 900 yen.

▲Tsuboya Pottery Yachimun Dojo

We finished at the reception desk and were shown to our table.
Upon entering the dojo, past samples of artists’ works were lined up.

My anticipation was high as I wondered if it would turn out like their work!

▲I’m adding the limbs of the shisa. After adding the nose it looks like a seal.

The process of making a shisa is rather simple and is done by adding one dot at a time.
The following is a step-by-step procedure:

(1) Make the foundation of the body.
(2) Add hands, feet, nose, eyes, ears, mouth, tail, beard and so on in this order.
(3) Draw the last details and put your signature on it, then it is complete.

The point is to apply glue and tighten the parts properly. If not, the ears and nose will fall off, so be careful!

This is the finished product!

I wanted to add some more details, so it became complicated in many ways, which is something I regretted by the end.

It will be finished in about 2.5 months. I am excited to see the finished product!

Final Takeaways

The dojo was full of shisa, creating a cozy environment like the shisa was protecting the building.

What was particularly impressive about the Ikutouen experience was the atmosphere of the dojo itself, where we had the pottery making experience. Surrounded by many plants, the atmosphere was like an oasis in the city.

*I am a plant lover so I think my joy was more than the average persons’s.

The day of the shisa experience was just after the rain, so the plants were very thriving.

A Range of Shops

Ikutouen has several stores along Tsuboya-dori, where you can buy pottery of your choice as souvenirs after your pottery-making experience. The pottery has different characteristics depending on the brand of the store, so there are many choices to choose from.

guma guwa
1-16-21 Tsuboya, Naha, Okinawa, Japan
OPEN 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Holidays: Jan. 1 and 2
1-22-33 Tsuboya, Naha, Okinawa, Japan
OPEN 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Holidays: Jan. 1 and 2
▲Kamany pasta dish used in the Estinate Lounge NAHA

We also offer a stylish wrapping service for purchased pottery, which would make a great gift. Please enjoy not only the pottery-making experience but also shopping for souvenirs.

Ikutouen on Tsuboya-dori is our top recommendation for a place in Naha where you can experience a healing experience that makes you feel like you’re out of the city.

If you have a chance to visit, please do so.

Click here for more information about Ikutouen.

Experience Okinawa like never before at our urban resort hotel. Within walking distance to Kokusai Street, and just 5-min from Miebashi monorail station, which links to Naha Airport.

Click the button below to book your stay at ESTINATE HOTEL NAHA