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About Arita

Arita-cho (the town of Arita) is a town located in the western part of Saga. It is located on the border of Nagasaki prefecture in the south - southwestern part of the town. Mountains and forests account for approximately 70% of the land area. The Aritagawa (Arita River) divides the town as it flows towards the neighboring city of Imari and empties into the Gulf of Imari. The area of the town is 65.8 square kilometers with a population of approximately 21,000 people.
On March, 1st 2006, Arita merged with the neighboring town Nishi-Arita to become the new, larger town of Arita-cho.

Arita-cho (the town of Arita) is designated as being an area included in the official list of the “Preserved Traditional Crafts of Japan,” because of its famous pottery. In 1616, Korean potter Ri Sanpei discovered a deposit of the porcelain mineral kaolin at Mt. Izumiyama in Arita and for the first time porcelain could be made in Japan. Later, under the leadership of the Nabeshima feudal lords, porcelain production started and prospered also resulting in the characteristic architecture of Arita valley, which became known as “Arita - valley of 1000 houses.” The town with its historically valuable buildings, many of which remain today, was declared an "Important National Historical Treasure" in 1991.

Arita also contains the characteristic terraced rice fields and is famous for being one of the most important stock-breeding areas in the prefecture.
Thus the town wishes to make the most out of the appealing combination of "delicious food" from its agriculture served on high quality "Arita-yaki "porcelain, produced by its ceramic industry. With its rich history and tradition, Arita aims at using its unique culture to extend tourism.