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九州にうなる Summer 2021 Unforgettable Kyushu




Spending summer overseas has been our family tradition.

We packed lots of pottery, kids, and everything that makes us last for about a month in boxes and suitcases, and flew over to the USA, Australia, China, and so on.

But because of the COVID pandemic, we couldn't do so from last summer.

We stayed home last year spending kind of intimate time with families, which turned out to be very nice.

This year though, we went out to Fukuoka to hold our show.

Fukuoka is on Kyushu island, next to Honshu island where we live.

There is Kanmon Strait between Kyushu and Honshu, so, we have to cross the bridge to get there.

So, we can say that we went "overseas" in a way.

Just about 5 minutes car ride on the bridge, we didn't know how much this this "crossing the strait" means. From our visit this time, we experience so much that we've never expected...

Yes, we learned Kyushu is as wonderland as foreign countries!

Stop1. 雲仙 Mt.Unzen







After 10+hours drive, our 1st stop was Unzen national park, a popular hot spring spot on the top of the mountain. We stopped by at a small public bathhouse, got soaked in a warm sulfur spring to loosen our tired bodies from a long drive. They call it "hell" because the vision of high temperature hot spring and gasses erupt violently evokes the vision of hell, but after relaxing in the hot spring, we felt heavenly.

Stop2. ぺシコ Pesceco






One of the highlight of our trip this time is visiting a restaurant by Ariake sea that uses Tetsuya's work.

Pesceco, is the name of the restaurant.

The chef, Takahiro Inoue, who had spent some time in big cities, came back his hometown a while ago with a dream to create a special restaurant that serves food, almost only consists of seafood and vegetables collected by local fishermen and farmers. Young and enthusiastic, he is already good enough to impress us with beautiful(both taste and looks) dishes and cozy atmosphere filled in the space. Wines pairing was great, too. Although, it is 870 away from here, we can't wait to go dine in the restaurant again! It is definitely one-of-a-kind restaurant you should check out when you visit Shimabara.

Stop3. 島原城 Shimabara Castle



Morning walk to Shimabara Castle near the hotel we stayed in Shimabara.

Lotus were in full bloom in a moat around the castle, so beautiful!

Stop4. 香田陶土 Koda clay factory










Another highlight of this Kyushu trip is visiting the clay factory, Koda-toudo, in Ureshino, Saga prefecture. The company always delivers Tetsuya's fine porcelain clay.

It is not too much to say that, without their clay, it is impossible to create Testuya's fine and delicate porcelain work. The factory, with an enthusiastic leader and hard workers, was very clean and organized located in the mountains by Shiota river. Surprisingly, most of the processes of making clay are carried out by hands of the workers. We realized that what we are using everyday, this "handmade clay", is a very precious material like jewel, really fruits of their labor, that we have to treat seriously. Sometimes, we tend to forget how much work has been put behind the scenes of our works before exhibited in the galleries. But visiting the factory made us realize that our work couldn't exist without the hard work of these people. We can't help thanking and paying deep respect to them.

Final destination ぶどうのたね Budou-no-tane (grape seed) gallery



Some shots from the opening day of the duo-show at Budou-no-tane gallery.



Budou-no-tane gallery has many annexes including traditional kimono shop, cafe, coffee roasters, restaurant, confectionary, and clothes store. It all run by the one family. The owner, Tanaka couple, has 3 children, and 2 out of 3, have already come back to start their own business here (and they told us that the last one will be coming back soon!). And what is quite impressive is that, each of them successfully created an unique one-of-a-kind space to showcase what they really love. As parents of 3 daughters, we can't help feeling jealous of how they're managing family business in such a harmonious way.

The gallery, located in the middle of grape orchard about an hour drive from central Fukuoka, is well worth the trip.






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