Arita, the cradle of porcelain manufacturing in Japan, is a quiet town among mountains, located in the western part of Saga. Ri Sampei (Korean name, Lee Cham-Pyung), a potter from Korea, discovered a fine-quality white porcelain mineral in Mt. Arita-Izumi-yama. This was the beginning of Arita’s development into an internationally known town of porcelain. A monument in memory of Ri Sampei stands in Toyama-jinja Shrine, Arita’s chief tutelary shrine.
White-walled houses originating in the 1930s and old Western-style buildings are still present in the Uchiyama area, where many potters once lived. At the back of these buildings, there are Tonbai fences made of used fireproof bricks and old-fashioned potteries. Pottery and porcelain lovers must visit the Kyushu Ceramic Museum and the Arita Ceramic Art Museum in town, where they can see exquisite pottery and porcelain pieces.