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Admire the creativity of Goshogawara at a renowned ceramics studio and at a museum that exhibits outlandish parade floats from the city’s annual Neputa festival.

Enjoy a picturesque drive through the mountainous countryside to the city of Goshogawara, where you will find Tsugaru Kanayama Pottery. Here you will learn about the various techniques used to produce its distinct pottery from local clay, which is coveted for its earthy hues ranging from copper brown to rusty red.

Inside Tsugaru Kanayama, you will see numerous kilns fired by red pine that can heat the pottery to as much as 2,462 degrees Fahrenheit. The unglazed pottery emerges with a certain rustic look that is highly desirable. Depending on the technique, the pine ashes can leave characteristic patterns on the pottery such as teeny spots that look like sesame seeds.

For a different perspective of Goshogawara’s creativity, you will then travel to the nearby Tachi-Neputa House, a museum that displays parade floats featured in the city’s joyous Neputa summer festival. Made of wire, bamboo and fragile washi paper, the brightly colored floats typically depict Japanese gods, historical figures and mythological beings.

The festival dates back to the early 20th century. The floats were taller then but were subsequently scaled back as modern utility lines were added over the streets. Even so, the floats are magnificent, especially when illuminated to enhance their dramatic effect.



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