Situated in Arita, Japan, Arita Porcelain Park is a small theme park with one prominent feature. That feature is the recreation of the Zwinger Palace that is in Dresden, Germany. The whole theme park gives a recreation of a traditional German village. Inside of the palace, there are numerous exhibits displaying Arita and German porcelain.
This park also exhibits this large climbing kiln that has been restored to its original state. These kilns are what gave Arita and the neighboring Hasami, a key edge in porcelain and ceramic making. These types of kilns were the backbone to Arita’s success and it is amazing to see a few still around to this day! The length of this kiln is not uncommon for its type, but to reach the top you will have to climb quite a few steps, so be prepared!
If you are able to make it to the top, however, you will be able to see an amazing view of the Zwinger Palace, fields, and pond. During sunset, the sun also hides behind those far mountains featured in this picture. This gives a beautiful view from up here!
Porcelain Park Gardens
The gardens behind the replication of Zwinger Palace are large and welcoming. Blossoming out in a uniform pattern from the fountain in the center, this garden gives a nice symmetrical look. Its large area also means there is ample room to rest on a nice day or even have a picnic. In the warmer months, there will often be cookouts here and on special occasions you can view fireworks that are put on display here also. It is the perfect place to go and relax!
The areas to each side of the center are actually museums that feature prominent ceramic and porcelain works from Arita as well as Germany. There you can see the beautiful craftsmanship that has been improved upon for over 400 years in Arita!
On display is another important tool in the production of porcelain, and that is the “Karausu” or stamping mill. Back when Arita porcelain production was at its peak, there were hundreds of these spread throughout the small town of Arita. The way this works is by drawing water by use of a water wheel, which in turn moves the arms up and down. The pits in the ground are where the rocks would be ground down into fine pieces by the pin-like object!
It is said that during this time, the sound of creaking wood and water “echoed through the valley” of Arita.
Here is an example of the type of look they were going for when creating this German-styled theme park. Trying to represent the 17th/18th century look. They do a good job with this, and it is quite interesting to come here and see such an attraction within the small town of Arita.
The size of the building is considerably large. The person in standing in the entrance gives you some idea of how large this replication of Zwinger Palace actually is.
This is a fun place to visit, and walking around is completely free. Parking is ample and you should have no trouble finding room to park your vehicle. I would like to warn however, that on weekends, it can be quite crowded. So if you are able to, the weekday is a more ideal time to come and see Arita Porcelain Park, unless you do not mind large crowds.
Other than that, there are small shops to go visit for souvenirs, as well as a few restaurants to eat at while walking around this park. Since this area is quite large, there are also numerous places to stop and take a rest at.
How to Get There
From train station: 8-minute taxi ride from Arita Station on the JR Sasebo Line
By Car: 3-minute drive from Nishi-kyushu Expressway Hasami-Arita IC
Hours and Fees
Fee: Admission – Free
Museum – 500 yen.
Hours: 9:00 – 17:00 (open everyday)
Arita Porcelain Park Website: Japanese