Shigaraki: Shiga’s Tanuki Town

Hey there friends! Our adventures through Shiga continue this time in the town of Shigaraki-cho, now part of Koka-shi in Shiga Prefecture. This time, myself and Émilie were joined by Émilie’s supervisor from the prefectural government, Mashiko!

皆さんこんにちは~ 今回の滋賀への冒険には甲賀市の信楽町に行ってきました!私とヱミリーとともに、滋賀県庁の国際課のましこさんも来てくださいました!


Shigaraki is a small town of approx. 13,000 people, located in southeast Shiga Prefecture. The town was merged into the city of Koka in 2004. It is most well-known for pottery, called Shigaraki-yaki, and particularly for pottery tanuki, or raccoon dogs, popular all throughout Japan.


I had never been before, but soon after entering the town it became very evident that Shigaraki is in fact the Tanuki Town. Tanuki, as well as frogs and turtles and lots of other pottery, could be seen in virtually every direction on the main streets of the town. We made it a Tanuki themed day, first by exploring around the immediate area around Shigaraki Station.


For lunch, we stuck to our tanuki-theme and ate in a restaurant literally shaped like a tanuki! Their menu also featured a couple items in tanuki-shaped bowls.


Something that is a must-do if you are in a place famous for pottery is to try making it yourself! We saw a couple places around that offered pottery experiences to the public, but we ended up doing it the less obvious place, here.



While also being a bit cheaper than other places we asked, this place allowed walk-ins and the owner was a very interesting guy who was keen on showing us the ins and outs of pottery. While I am not particularly skilled at any kind of craft that is done with your hands, Émilie and Mashiko predictably did very well. We won’t get our pottery back for about a month or so, but I am looking forward to seeing the finished product. If you want to see more of our experience making Shigaraki pottery, be sure to watch the video below!


Shigaraki is a quaint little off the beaten track town, where anyone who wants a different experience from the hustle and bustle of Tokyo or Kyoto is sure to enjoy themselves. If you happen to be a fan of tanuki or pottery, Shigaraki is definitely the place for you!


Access to Shigaraki:
-take Biwako Line to Kusatsu Station, transfer to Kusatsu Line
-transfer again at Kibukawa to Shigaraki kougen tetsudo to Shigaraki Station

If you would also like to try a Shigaraki pottery experience in the same place that we did, the address is below. Look for the guy with the beard on the sign! (Please note that this is likely only available in Japanese.)


Rokuroni Challenge
Nagano 1246
Shigaraki-cho, Koka-shi
Shiga Prefecture 529-1851
TEL: 074-882-0611

陶芸道場 ろくろにチャレンジ
TEL: 074-882-0611

Be sure to check out our video!


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