The area around Kasama Inari Shrine is filled with retro and traditional shops and restaurants. From sake breweries to steamed bun stalls and old-fashioned hardware stores, each shop has its own unique atmosphere and products with something to pique anyone's curiosity. Make sure to try some 'inari sushi' (pockets of deep fried tofu filled with sushi rice), said to be a favourite of the 'kitsune' foxes which serve the shrine's Gods.
A Famed Pottery Tradition
Kasama-style pottery has been produced in the area since the 1770s and is well-known throughout Japan. The high levels of iron and viscosity in the particles that make up the clay in the Kasama area result in a fine clay suited to strong, everyday use ceramics. The area has long attracted young artists eager to lend their own unique styles to the tradition of Kasama pottery, making Kasama into the meccha of creativity that it is today. The city is home to the Ibaraki Ceramic Art Museum and the Nichido Museum of Art as well as countless small galleries making it the perfect place to explore Japan's pottery culture.
Kasama Inari Shrine, one of Japan's three major Inari Shrines
First established in 651, Kasama Inari Shrine is one of the most famous Inari shrines in Japan and attracts around 3.5 million pilgrims and visitors every year. The shrine enshrines Ukanomitama-no-mikoto, known to answer prayers for success in business and protection from fires. The shrine grounds are particularly beautiful in the late Spring when the wisteria flowers are in bloom and during the chrysanthemum festival in the Autumn.The streets leading up to the shrine are filled with a range of shops to explore, from traditional soba restaurants tofashionable cafes and renovated sake breweries. Specialities of the area include ‘Kasama Inari Sushi’, rice with walnuts and other seasonal products wrapped in deep-fried tofu and roasted chestnuts. Kasama City is known for its pottery and there are also plenty of galleries in the area, perfect for picking up a souvenir before you head home.