Are you looking for a special souvenir from Japan? I have the solution for you! During my stay in Ueno, I found Dengama pottery shop while wandering around and checking out the area and its many stores. I found many lovely souvenirs at Dengama, not only for family and friends, but for myself.
The pottery shop is located on a street corner and has a great display so it is hard to miss. Once you start looking through the many tea cups and plates, one thing becomes clear immediately: you will not leave without buying at least one piece of pottery. Dengama offers a wide selection of handmade stoneware and porcelain goods produced in Japan.
On the first floor you will find teacups, matching saucers, rice bowls, and teapots—all for reasonable prices. Depending on the material and design, cups and rice bowls can cost around ¥200 to ¥1300, and plates a little more. The only problem may be the abundant choice!
While the first floor’s interior, with its display of goods, is already appealing, the second floor almost looks like a museum. Here you will find more exclusive and slightly expensive goods. Every piece of pottery is labeled with its place of production and whether it is fit to be used in a microwave or oven. Although this is written in Japanese, the staff are used to foreign customers and speak some English so do not hesitate to ask!
The shop also has a website available in English. This will provide you with more information on how to treat your pottery so that you may enjoy it for a long time. While smooth porcelain appears fragile, it is actually a strong material; however, it should not be used in the microwave. After some years of use, the colours may wear off but this is normal and not a sign of poor quality. Stoneware on the other hand, although appearing and feeling solid, is rather fragile. It should always be treated with care and not put in the dishwasher. Stoneware and porcelain differ mainly in the composition of the materials and the firing temperature. If you are not sure whether the pottery of your choice is porcelain or stoneware, simply ask the staff and they will help you!
Dengama is located between Inaricho and Tawaramachi stations. If you are looking for accommodation in this area, I can highly recommend HOTEL MYSTAYS Ueno Iriyaguchi. From Dengama, it is a less-than-ten-minute walk, easy enough for you to carry the pottery back.