See Surprising Shades Of Pottery At Utsuwaya Tuku In Akihabara

See Surprising Shades Of Pottery At Utsuwaya Tuku In Akihabara

Tokyo 2018.01.03

While stroll through the shops that make up the eclectic 2k540 AKI-OKA ARTISAN arcade, we found a place where pottery had been carefully placed on display. We’d like to introduce you to Utsuwaya Tuku, a shop known for its simple yet elegant pieces.

Translated byRichard Perkins

Written by Takuro Komatsuzaki

While strolling through the eclectic 2k540 AKI-OKA ARTISAN built under the railway pass, you will find a number of shops where handcrafted works of Japanese pottery are on display. Today, let's take a look at Utsuwaya Tuku, whose sparkling displays are sure to catch your attention through the shop windows.


What Exactly Is 'Tuku'?

The origin of the name of this store, Tuku, apparently comes from the word that refers to the supports for the shelves, and to the supports for the racks within a pottery kiln where the unbaked pottery is kept. Using the same tools that the artisans use to display the finished works is a novel way to show off their wares, not to mention one that makes them simple and easy to view.


The photo above is of an artisan making some pottery. As you can see, this artisan is supporting their right hand with their left while applying color to the piece with a brush. Here, they’re not only careful, but they also pour their heart into making each and every piece.


A cup that has a small white needlepoint design; simple and charming.


There are a great number of pieces on display here, all lined up neatly on the shops many shelves. You can tell with one look that each item has been made with both passion and care; they all are sure to leave a beautiful, lasting impression on you.


The type of pottery shown above, known as gindami, is a bowl with a name that explains exactly what it looks like. 'Gin' is the Japanese word for 'silver', and this is a bowl that has been treated with silver paint inside. The shining silver against the dark ceramic gives off a cool and calm appearance. This is a bowl that's sure to make you want to enjoy your own oyakodon, or other types of donburi (a dish featuring different ingredients laid over a bed of steamed rice).


A chawan is a type of small bowl used for rice; the chawan sold here are a vivid yet relaxing shade of blue that gives an amazing beauty to each bowl. This is a store that deals in simple pottery, without ornate patterns or designs.

Despite their initial plain appearance, just as photographers and designers are fastidious about the shades and tones of their works, so too can you feel the spirit of the artisans embedded into each piece on display at Utsuwaya Tuku.

Can't you feel the human touch of the artists in these bowls? You just might feel inspired to do your best all day long if you use one of these to enjoy your breakfast in the morning.


Utsuwaya Tuku
Address: Tokyo, Taito, Ueno, 5-9-11 2k540 AKI-OKA ARTISAN H-2
Hours: 11:00-19:00
Closed: Wednesday
Wi-fi: None
Other Languages: None
Nearest Station: Akihabara Station or Okachimachi Station (JR Yamanote Line), Suehirocho Station (Tokyo Metro Ginza Line)
Access: 6 minute walk from Akihabara Station, 4 minute walk from Okachimachi Station, 3 minute walk from Suehirocho Station
Fee: Starting from around 3000 yen
Phone Number: 03-6803-2929
Website: (Japanese)

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