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Arita, Saga

Coordinates: 33°12′38″N 129°50′57″E / 33.21056°N 129.84917°E / 33.21056; 129.84917
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Arita Town Hall
Arita Town Hall
Flag of Arita
Official seal of Arita
Location of Arita in Saga Prefecture
Location of Arita
Coordinates: 33°12′38″N 129°50′57″E / 33.21056°N 129.84917°E / 33.21056; 129.84917
Country Japan
Prefecture Saga
 • Total65.85 km2 (25.42 sq mi)
 (May 31, 2020)
 • Total18,634
 • Density280/km2 (730/sq mi)
Time zoneUTC+9 (JST)
Phone number0955-46-2111
Address2202 Tachibe, Arita-chō, Nishimatsuura-gun, Saga-ken 849-4153
WebsiteOfficial website
FlowerPrunus serrulata
TreeGinkgo biloba
Quercus glauca
The Arita Ceramic Fair

Arita (有田町, Arita-chō) is a town located in Nishimatsuura District, Saga Prefecture, Japan. As of 31 May 2024, the town had an estimated population of 18,634 in 7867 households, and a population density of 280 people per km2.[1] The total area of the town is 51.92 km2 (20.05 sq mi). It is known for producing Arita porcelain, one of the traditional handicrafts of Japan. It also holds the largest ceramic fair in Western Japan, the Arita Ceramic Fair. This event is held from April 29 to May 5 (Golden Week) every year and has thousands of stores and stalls lining the six-kilometre long main street.



Arita is located in the western part of Saga Prefecture, bordering Nagasaki Prefecture from its southwest to western sides. About 70% of the town is forest and mountains.

Neighbouring municipalities


Saga Prefecture

Nagasaki Prefecture



Arita has a humid subtropical climate (Köppen Cfa) characterized by warm summers and cool winters with light to no snowfall. The average annual temperature in Arita is 15.9 °C. The average annual rainfall is 1801 mm with September as the wettest month. The temperatures are highest on average in August, at around 26.6 °C, and lowest in January, at around 5.7 °C.[2]



Per Japanese census data, the population of Arita is as shown below. [3]

Historical population
1940 19,003—    
1950 24,419+28.5%
1960 24,579+0.7%
1970 23,231−5.5%
1980 23,495+1.1%
1990 23,413−0.3%
2000 22,314−4.7%
2010 20,929−6.2%
2020 19,010−9.2%



The area of Arita was part of ancient Hizen Province. During the Edo Period, it was mostly part of the holdings of Saga Domain. Arita was one of the first sites in Japan to produce porcelain, Arita ware. The discovery of porcelain stone is attributed to a Korean potter named Kanagae Sambe(Yi Sam-pyeong) who discovered a source of kaolin underneath the Izumiyama mountain in Arita, and began firing the nation’s first porcelain.[4]

Following the Meiji restoration, the village of Sarayama is renamed and reclassified as the town of Arita. Also, the villages of Shin, Magarikawa and Ōyama were established within Nishimatsuura District, with the creation of the modern municipalities system on April 1, 1889. On November 13, 1896 the village of Shin was renamed Arita, which was raised to town status on January 1, 1947 and renamed Higashi-Arita and which merged with Arita on April 1, 1954. Magarikawa and Ōyama merge to form the village of Nishi-Arita on April 1, 1955. Nishi-Arita was raised to town status on April1, 1965 and was merged into Arita on March 1, 2006



Arita has a mayor-council form of government with a directly elected mayor and a unicameral town council of 165 members. Arita contributes one member to the Saga Prefectural Assembly. In terms of national politics, the town is part of the Saga 2nd district of the lower house of the Diet of Japan.



The economy of Arita is overwhelmingly based on the ceramics industry, notably production of Arita ware, and on tourism.



Arita has four public elementary schools and two public junior high schools by the town government, and one public high school operated by the Fukuoka Prefectural Board of Education. The prefecture also operates a special education school for the handicapped.

Prefectural high schools

  • Arita Technical High School

Municipal junior high schools

  • Arita Junior High School
  • Nishi-Arita Junior High School

Municipal elementary schools

  • Arita Elementary School
  • Arita Chūbu Elementary School
  • Magarikawa Elementary School
  • Ōyama Elementary School

Other schools

  • Arita College of Ceramics


View of the Japanese town of Arita from the railway station


  • JR Kyushu - Sasebo Line
    • Kami-Arita - Arita



Twin towns – sister cities


Arita is twinned with:[5]

Friendship city


Local attractions

Torii at Tozan Shrine
  • The Kyushu Ceramic Museum houses large exhibits of old and modern style ceramics.
  • The Porcelain Park is a ceramic centered theme park, and is modeled on the Zwinger Palace in Germany. Ceramic ware from the heyday of Arita are on display in the gallery.
  • Arita Kan (有田館) has an exhibition of modern art porcelain, 400 different cups for coffee or tea and a theatre with computerized puppets made of porcelain.
  • "China On The Park" dates back to the end of the last century when the Fukugawa factory was chosen to provide the Imperial household with porcelain. This large and modern style facility contains a factory, galleries, shops and a restaurant.
  • Tozan Shrine has a porcelain archway and other items of porcelain which, at other shrines, are usually made of stone. This shrine was and still is particularly revered by Arita's ceramists.
  • Rokuroza (ろくろ座), located near Kami-Arita Station, is a place where one can learn how to make pottery.


Modern Arita ware seahorse button

Notable people from Arita


See also



  1. ^ "Arita Town official statistics" (in Japanese). Japan.
  2. ^ Arita climate: Average Temperature, weather by month
  3. ^ Saga Prefecture population by municipality
  4. ^ arita-mangekyo.jp》, Retrieved October 1, 2023.
  5. ^ "姉妹都市・友好都市・団体のご紹介". town.arita.lg.jp (in Japanese). Arita. Retrieved April 11, 2020.