Utsuwa means “vessels” or “containers” in Japanese. Unlike mass-produced vessels, each utsuwa is unique with small external factors changing the shape of utsuwa dramatically. Japanese ceramics can fill us with a sense of warmth and aesthetic pleasure when we hold them in our hands, and make good food taste even better. You should be able to feel the traces that the artists left on the utsuwa ceramics. A good utsuwa is more than just a container; it can accompany you through those bad days and make your good days even better.
SML is a big ceramic store located in the Daikanyama area. It does not only carry ceramic pieces, but also other tableware and articles for daily life. You can find delicious jam and beautiful tablecloths which you can’t normally find in utsuwa shops. SML holds artist exhibitions regularly, though you could always ask shop attendants to show you more collections that they are stored in the back room. If you want to shop for authentic Japanese products, SML is a great one-stop shop.
Address: 1 Chome-15-1 Aobadai, Meguro City, Tokyo 153-0042
Hours: Monday-Friday, 12 PM-8 PM Saturday-Sunday, 11 AM-8 PM
2. Gallery Mus
The owner of Gallery Mus says that “Ceramics are different from paintings or sculptures because they are art that you can use every day.” At Gallery Mus, not only can you see Japanese ceramics, but you can also see ceramics from artists from around the world. This shop is very popular among models and actors, so you might just meet someone that you’ve seen on TV in this shop, as they search for their new tableware. Gallery Mus provides very good Japanese, English, and Chinese services, so feel free to chat with the owner or shop assistants. Qiu Han, the owner Qiu Mi’s father, is one of the most famous Chinese blue and white porcelain masters. She occasionally sells her father’s works at the store as well.
Address: 20-13 Mihashiso 103, Sarugakucho, Shibuya City, Tokyo 150-0033
Hours: Tuesday-Sunday, 11 AM-5 PM
Chidori, established in 2002, is located in the corner of an old printing shop. Chidori sells simple but elegant ceramics which will make your food even more appetizing. Chidori takes up a lot of space, with an extensive collection that provides customers with more choices. You can find all kinds of tableware from forks to plates, and there is sure to be something to catch your eye. Because of the large stock and uncrowded environment, you will feel more like you’re visiting a museum rather than shopping in a ceramics store. Chidori also holds artist exhibitions throughout the year.
Address:3 Chome-10-5 Harajima Second Building, Misakicho, Chiyoda City, Tokyo 101-0061
Hours: Monday-Sunday, 12 PM-6 PM
4. Utsuwa Kenshin
Utsuwa Kenshin is a small but stylish Japanese ceramics store located in Shibuya. The owner is very passionate and knowledgeable about ceramics and he can speak English well. If you are interested in Japanese ceramics, don’t hesitate to stop by and chat with him. Because of the size limitation of the store, you should check at the store regularly to see their new collections.
Address: 2 Chome-3-4 Shibuya, Shibuya City, Tokyo 150-0002
Hours: Thursday- Tuesday, 11 AM-8 PM